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Kenya Railways: Unlocking land potential to enhance urban mobility Kenya Railways: Unlocking land potential to enhance urban mobility

The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) boasts an extensive railway network, comprising 2,778 km of narrow-gauge lines and 605 km of standard-gauge lines across the country. Additionally, KRC is the second largest landowner in Kenya, with significant land holdings along the railways and around station areas. Despite this, much of this land remains underutilised, presenting a valuable opportunity to bolster urban development and generate additional revenue to support commuter rail operations.

The Nairobi commuter rail system currently serves approximately 13,000 passengers daily across four lines, totalling 155 kilometres. However, the land surrounding these extensive commuter railway lines presents a largely untapped opportunity for financing that could help bridge the funding gap needed to enhance commuter rail operations within the Nairobi Metropolitan Region.

To address this potential, the Government of Kenya (GoK) has partnered with the World Bank to prepare the Kenya Urban Mobility Improvement Project (KUMIP). This project aims to improve urban mobility services within the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and enhance institutional capacity for resilient and environmentally friendly urban transport development in Kenya.

KUMIP adopts a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) approach, which aims to integrate land use and transportation planning to foster the development of vibrant communities around railway transit nodes. This integration is essential for increasing the usability and effectiveness of rail as a primary mode of public transport. Moreover, KUMIP will support the GoK’s ongoing efforts in urban mobility sector reform.

As part of the KUMIP project preparation, an assignment has been set to explore land-based revenue generation opportunities for Kenya Railways and county governments in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area. The specific objectives of this assignment include:

Assessing the legal and regulatory restrictions and opportunities at both national and county levels regarding land revenue extraction for parastatals like KRC, compared to county and national government agencies. Evaluating the potential for land-based revenue generation for Kenya Railways Corporation and county governments in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, stemming from improved services and TOD investments in the Nairobi Commuter Railway Network.

By leveraging its extensive land holdings and strategic partnerships, Kenya Railways has the potential to significantly enhance urban mobility and contribute to the sustainable development of the Nairobi Metropolitan Region. Premium subscribers can access the opportunity here.

Source: Railways Africa