FARES FOR NEW PASSENGER TRAINS FINALLY PUBLISHED
(Posted 31st May 2017)
Kenya Railways has now finally, on the very eve of the launch of passenger train services between Nairobi and Mombasa, released the tariffs to be charged, at least for the immediate future.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will tomorrow, 01st of June – Madaraka Day in Kenya – officially launch the service and then travel from the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi, a journey of just over 4 hours between the two main stations.
The fare in economy class between the two cities, one way, has been given at 900 Kenya Shillings, or about 9 US Dollars while the fare in First Class, again one way, will be 3.000 Kenya Shillings, or about 30 US Dollars.
No Business Class carriages are available yet but are expected to arrive with the next shipment of rail wagons from China and fares are due to be announced before those carriages will be made operational.
The economy class fares are bound to syphon off traffic from the bus companies operating between the two cities, not just for the cost but also the speed, with busses taking more than twice the time to travel between the two cities compared to the new trains.
The new First Class fares in turn will no doubt carve out a market share among travelers by air switching to the trains, given the often hasslesome pre-flight procedures where passengers are subjected to multiple security checks before reaching the boarding gate. The cost of transfers to and from the airports too are now an added factor and although both new rail stations are away from the respective city centres is the access route from those shorter compared to the airports in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Given the cost of tickets between Nairobi and Mombasa will in particular low cost or pseudo low cost airlines be the target of the SGR marketing campaigns, attempting to divert traffic from air to rail. For as long as the new passenger service are running on time and spare passengers the most of the security hassles they suffer from when using the international airports in Nairobi and Mombasa for their travels will the trains no doubt make a swift impact on travel patterns amongst Kenyans and tourists. Airlines flying from Wilson Airport to such destinations like Lamu, Malindi, Vipingo and Ukunda are in contrast thought to be less affected as they serve a special market niche.
Fares have also been published now for other stations along the way, which give in particular tourists access to Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Amboseli national parks but also to the Taita Hills area. It is expected that transport entrepreneurs are now going to create tour itineraries which will include a rail journey by tourists, meeting their safari vehicle at the respective train stations to begin their tour into the parks, before returning the same way to either Mombasa or Nairobi.
First Class fares from Mombasa to Voi were given as 880 Kenya Shillings while Mtito Andei journeys will cost 1.520 Kenya Shillings and Emali, gateway to Amboseli, cost 2.230 Kenya Shillings.
Economy class tickets for the respective stations will cost 270 KShs, 470 KShs and 680 KShs.
For all the fares to other stations and between stations make enquiries with Kenya Railways’ or visit their ticket counters.
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