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Economy

SGR passenger service in bus partnership for upcountry

Passengers at Mombasa SGR terminus in Miritini. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Passengers at Mombasa SGR terminus in Miritini. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya Railways will create a bus station at Syokimau for SGR passengers headed to western Kenya.

The SGR passenger unit terminates at Syokimau station from Mombasa, forcing passengers headed to western Kenya to seek buses at Nairobi’s city centre—a distance of 30 kilometres.

The rail firm is seeking partnership with mainstream buses for seamless travel between Mombasa and western Kenya.

“Passengers will no longer need to come to town. They can pick their buses at our stations and go to their final destinations,” said Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina.

“We are looking at the possibility of obtaining data of all the customers who are travelling with us such that if a passenger is travelling from Mombasa and your final destination is Kisumu, we are able to pick that data and relay it to bus operators ahead of time for easy planning,” said Mr Maina.

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Bus operators plying Nairobi—Mombasa route have reported a drop in passenger numbers following the launch of the SGR train on May 31.

The express train slashed the time for the 472 km journey to about four hours from 12 on the line built more than a century ago that stretched from Mombasa to the Ugandan capital.

The older line is operated by Rift Valley Railways.

The express line also gives businesses and passengers a cheaper and safer alternative to single-lane highway between Nairobi and Mombasa that is often clogged with cargo trucks.

An economy class ticket costs Sh700 while a first class ticket goes for Sh3, 000. Buses charge between Sh800 to Sh2, 000 per seat on the Nairobi and Mombasa route.

Kenya Railways will launch the inter-county train service in nine terminus next Saturday, allowing passengers to alight and board at the stations between Nairobi and Mombasa. The inter-county trains are scheduled to make stopovers in nine terminus.

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