SGR to Hike Madaraka Express Train economy class Fare
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) train fare that is subsidized is not enough to meet the operational cost in the short term. This is according to the Kenya Railways. For those using the SGR train will have to dig deep into their pockets in order to enjoy the services.
Kenya Railways announced that the Sh. 700 fare from Nairobi to Mombasa was to promote their services, this will be hiked in the next two months. The fare will be raised to Sh. 1,200 after getting approval from the Ministry of Transport.
The rates will be announced in April after the approval, but the fare will not exceed Sh. 1,200. The first-class passenger fare will remain at Sh. 3,000.
The decision to charge low rates was to allow all Kenyans to enjoy and test the SGR services at inception. The decision was also to allow Kenyans to see the services that were introduced in the market.
President Uhuru launched the train services on 1 June, 2017. The fare was fixed at Sh. 700 for the economy class and Sh. 3000 for the first-class passengers. The fare was reduced from Sh. 900 to Sh. 700 as proposed earlier by Cabinet Secretary (CS) James Macharia.
The aim of low rates was to attract traffic to the project that was funded by the Exim Bank of China. The rail was constructed by China Road and the Bridge Corporation.
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) was allocated Sh. 15.5 billion by National Treasury to upgrade its commercial operations before the launch. The rail is 472 km between Nairobi and Mombasa. It had cost Sh. 327 billion which was co-financed through semi-concessional and commercial loans from the Kenyan government and China.
However, the Sh. 1,200 will still be cheaper than using buses which charge more than Sh1,200. Using Madaraka Express will help the commuters to enjoy comfort and save time, it takes about four and half hours to travel between the two cities. The announcement may not be a surprise to those who are used to cheap rides from Nairobi to Mombasa and vice versa.
(This article was written by Risper Buyeke)
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