Witty Kenyans Wednesday afternoon took to Twitter to call out the government for using deceitful tactics to market the newly launched SGR Phase 2A link between Nairobi and Suswa.
Kenyans on Twitter’s bone of contention was that in the launch, the government indicated that the link begins in Nairobi without specifying where exactly the terminal in Nairobi is located.
It is, however, public knowledge that the SGR terminal closest to Nairobi is located in Syokimau which geographically falls under Machakos County.
Stop calling it Nairobi SGR station. What you're calling Nairobi SGR station is in Syokimau. Syokimau is found in Syokimau / Mlolongo Ward, of Mavoko Constituency, Machakos County. Thank you.
— Gabriel Oguda (@gabrieloguda) October 16, 2019
Kenyans noted that despite the promise of 23 minutes from Nairobi to Rongai and 40 minutes from Nairobi to Ngong, it would probably take much longer since commuters intending to use the trains would have, at some point, have to board buses to find their way from Nairobi Town to Syokimau first in order to access the trains, or to acess the CBD after arrival from the outskirts.
So we Ongata Rongai residents will be boarding the Suswa-Syokimau SGR to avoid the 'high priced' rogue Ongata Line matatus? From Syokimau, we will need a matatu to CBD, right? Wow! Very cheap indeed. 😕😕
— Enock Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad (@ThisIsBett) October 16, 2019
Expecting a quick, convenient train from Nbi to Naivasha? Think again. The station – in Suswa- is an hour away. Then you still have to board either from Rongai or Syokimau. Don't throw away your car keys (or matatu fare) yet. pic.twitter.com/TmSPcOE1Vs
— FERDINAND OMONDI (@FerdyOmondi) October 16, 2019
Syokimau is located along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway, a road dreaded for its heavy traffic during most hours of the day.
The SGR Phase 2A, lauched on Wednesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta, services Ongata Rongai, Ngong, Maai-Mahiu, and Suswa areas on a daily basis except on Saturdays.
Fares to Rongai and Ngong have been set at Ksh100 for Economy Class seats while passengers opting for First Class comfort will have to part with Ksh200.
Passengers going all the way to Suswa from Nairobi will also pay Ksh100 for Economy Class, and Ksh650 for First Class seats.
Kenyans have also complained of the remote location of other termini along the new route, such as the Suswa Terminus which is several kilometres from Naivasha Town.
“The most uneconomic journey for me would be from Nairobi to Naivasha using the SGR. First, I will have to avail myself at either Rongai or Syokimau then when I alight at the Suswa station I will need to find my way to Naivasha. No thanks It would be faster to walk to Naivasha,” tweeted one Hoslack Ochieng.