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Economy

SGR tickets now valid for five days amid fears of new travel restrictions

Passengers ready to board the SGR at Mombasa terminus after its operations resumed
Passengers ready to board the SGR at Mombasa terminus after its operations resumed on July 13, 2020. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG 

Validity of booked SGR tickets has been reduced to five days from two months amid fears of travel restrictions during the Covid-19 period.

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Monday said that it has cut the validity period to ensure that passengers do not get stuck with tickets for long periods in case the State re-imposes travel restrictions to curb spread of the coronavirus.

This means that passengers have five days to cancel tickets or reschedule their travel plans or risk losing up to Sh3,000 for the one-way ticket from Nairobi to the coastal town of Mombasa.

The State in March banned movement into and out of five counties including Nairobi and Mombasa forcing passengers who had booked ahead of the Easter holiday to halt their travel plans.

Some of the affected passengers are now seeking ticket refunds even after the train resumed operations Monday.

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“We have reduced the validity period of a ticket as a result of the times we are in. We do not want someone to get stuck with a valid ticket for too long like before.

“It is only for the time of the pandemic, we will be assessing and updating the situation as it unfolds,” KRC told the Business Daily.

The State agency yesterday suspended all ticket refunds for passengers who were affected by the March travel restrictions and only allowed them to reschedule their trips in a bid to avoid losing out revenue.

SGR deducts a 30 percent fee on every ticket refunded while rescheduling a trip attracts a 10 percent fee per ticket.

This means that passengers forgo between Sh300 and Sh900 for refund of an economy and first class ticket, respectively.

While lifting the travel bans last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta warned of a return to the restrictions in case of a spike in the number of Covid-19 infections.

Passengers pay Sh1,000 for economy class tickets and Sh3,000 for first class tickets between Nairobi and Mombasa.

SGR resumed its Nairobi to Mombasa trip yesterday a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the ban on air, rail and road movement into capital.

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