Passengers traffic on Madaraka Express drop by 9pc in October
The number of passengers ferried by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) dropped marginally by about 9 per cent in October as it still struggles to break even amid mounting pressures on its financial costs.
Data from Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) shows that in September, SGR carried 209,084 passengers between Nairobi and Mombasa compared to October’s 189,553 head count.The firm has, however, been witnessing a progressive quarterly increase in the number of passengers in that route across the ten months since January.
In quarter one ending March, a total of 518,780 passengers used SGR. This increased to 603,157 in the second quarter when SGR witnessed a revenue rise.
In the third quarter, the number of passengers hit 615,760.
“Over time, due to demand and efficiency as well as safety of the service, KR [Kenya Railways] has been able to increase the frequency of the service to three train services a day between the two cities [Nairobi-Mombasa],” KRC said in a statement.
It is expected that the number of customers will increase for the remainder of the year as the festive season hits peak. Few seats already remain between December 1 and the 4th January 2023 as people scramble for space to the Coast for Christmas festivities. The State corporation operates the SGR trains from Nairobi to Mombasa and an inter-county service that stops at Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito Andei, Voi, Miasenyi, and Mariakani stations.
Its services have also expanded to cover Phase IIA of the SGR rail network serving the towns of Ngong, Mai Mahiu and Suswa. It charges Sh1,000 on economy class seats and Sh3, 000 on fast class seats between Nairobi and Mombasa.