Nairobi is served primarily by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. It is the largest airport in East and Central Africa, and handled over 4.4 million passengers in 2006. The airport is a major transit hub for passengers flying to East Africa's natural attractions, and other smaller cities in East and Central Africa. The airport is situated 20 km (12 mi) from Nairobi's Central Business District. The airport directly serves intercontinental passengers from Europe and Asia.
Wilson Airport is a small, busy airport to the south of Nairobi. It handles small aircraft that generally operate within Kenya, although some offer services to other East African destinations.
Buses are the most common form of public transport in Nairobi. Matatus, privately owned minibuses, are the most popular form of local transport, and generally seat fourteen to twenty-four. Matatus operate within Nairobi and from Nairobi to other towns. The matatu's destination is imprinted on the side of the bus. Matatus plying specific routes have specific route numbers. Matatus were easily distinguishable by their extravagant paint schemes. Owners would paint their matatu with their favourite football team or hip hop artist. They were notorious for their poor safety records, which was a result of overcrowding and reckless driving. Matatu drivers were pressured to make as many round trips as possible to maximize profits for their operator. They are very popular within the city. Most are equipped with high music systems which attract customers as competition is very high between matatus. The more round trips with the more customers basically means more money for the workers and the owners.
However, in 2004 a law was passed in which all matatus had to include seat-belts, speed governors, and all be painted in a uniform white with yellow band across it. At first, this caused a furore amongst matatu operators, but they were pressured by government and public to make the changes. Matatus are now limited to 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph).
Citi Hoppa is the newest bus fleet operating in Nairobi. Run privately, the Citi Hoppa offer relatively modern buses on many routes within the city. The Citi Hoppa buses are distinguishable by their green livery. It is now the leading bus operator in Nairobi, after Bustrack fell along with its mother company, Kenya Bus Services.
Nairobi was founded as a railway town, and the Kenya Railways (KR) main headquarters are still situated there, near the city centre. The line runs through Nairobi, from Mombasa to Kampala. Its main use is freight traffic, but regular nightly passenger trains connect Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu. A number of morning and evening commuter trains connect the centre with the suburbs, but the city has no proper light rail, tramway or subway lines. A JKI airport shuttle rail service is being contemplated.
Nairobi is also the junction for a branch railway to Nanyuki.