June 13, 2024
Price Hike Pulls SGR Passenger Traffic Down By 11% - KNBS

Price Hike Pulls SGR Passenger Traffic Down By 11% – KNBS

The number of Kenyans using the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) fell by 11.01 percent to 531,673 in the three months to March this year, compared to the same period last year, owing to higher SGR charges.

According to data from the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), 597,506 people used the SGR to commute between January and March 2023.

The drop occurred a few months after Kenya Railways (KR) revised its upward SGR charges.

Beginning in January of this year, SGR passengers were required to pay an additional Sh500 or Sh1,500 for economy and first-class seats between Nairobi and Mombasa.

The cost of one economy-class seat increased to Sh1,500, while the cost of a first-class seat rose to Sh4,500.

Then, KRC blamed the increase on rising fuel prices, which had reached record highs.

Fare prices were raised for first and economy coaches, as well as inter-county and express trains, due to high fuel prices.

Kenyans, who already face high living costs, were hit hard by the increased fares. As a result, the majority of travelers choose road transportation.

The increase, on the other hand, helped boost SGR revenue to Sh880.9 million from Sh660.15 million during the review period.

Kenya Railways Managing Director Phillip Mainga has revealed plans to add 19 coaches to improve the efficiency of SGR services.

These consisted of four business-class coaches, three first-class coaches, and twelve economy coaches.

Price Hike Pulls SGR Passenger Traffic Down By 11% - KNBS
Price Hike Pulls SGR Passenger Traffic Down By 11% – KNBS

“These additional coaches will support the high demand for Madaraka Express Passenger Services,” Mainga stated during the flagging-off ceremony of 430 new freight wagons in March 2024.

According to the National Treasury, the government intends to spend more than Ksh.100 billion to revamp the line between July 2023 and July 2026, including the purchase of additional locomotives and freight wagons for Ksh11.9 billion.

This is consistent with plans to extend the SGR from Naivasha to Malaba and Kampala in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to strengthen trade ties between the countries.

During a meeting at State House in Nairobi on May 16, 2024, President William Ruto and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni directed their respective ministers to raise funds for the project’s implementation.

“The meeting emphasised the importance of extending the SGR from Naivasha to Malaba and all the way to Kampala and DRC as an efficient and sustainable infrastructure for the transportation of goods,” Ruto stated during the press briefing.

Currently, SGR train services include Inter-County, which starts at 8:00 a.m., Afternoon Express, which leaves at 3:00 p.m., and Night Express, which leaves at 10:00 p.m.

The inter-county train travels through six counties: Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Makueni, Machakos, and Kajiado.

Price Hike Pulls SGR Passenger Traffic Down By 11% – KNBS

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