NAIROBI, Kenya, June 7 – The newly launched Madaraka Express has ferried about 7, 000 customers, one week since launch.
Kenya Railways management says the demand will see the corporation schedule additional trains to handle more passengers.
“With demand for our services at an all-time high, we are looking forward to scheduling additional trains. The combination of state-of-the-art design, unrivaled comfort and convenience means that we are well placed to meet the growing demand as passengers increasingly opt for our services over other existing means,” explained Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanus Maina.
The first phase of the Standard Gauge Rail service, which was launched by President Kenyatta last Wednesday, is currently operating with scheduled passenger trains from Nairobi and Mombasa running on a daily basis.
Sunday had the largest bookings of over 1300 with a capacity of 1200.
“Over the last week, we have experienced a daily surge in passenger numbers. The growing numbers demonstrate the vital role Kenya Railways plays in our nation’s transportation system; we are definitely off to a strong start,” Maina noted.
He said plans are also underway to introduce the Intercounty trains that will make stops in Athi River, Emali, Kibwezi, Mtito, Voi, Miasenyi and Mariakani before the final stop at Miritini in July.
“Without a doubt, we have many passengers who intend to ply their businesses across the five counties that the line traverses and this new train will ensure that we play our role in devolution by connecting businesses across the counties”, Maina said.
The company has also announced a partnership with National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to enable private bus operators to provide last mile services to and from the various destinations along the route.
In Mombasa, the access road is in its completion phase and thus is expected to provide a fluid road connection to the Miritini Station from Mombasa City.
On the Nairobi side, the Nairobi Commuter Rail service to Syokimau Station is available in the morning to take the passengers to the Nairobi Terminus before the 9am train departs.
The service is also available in the afternoon to pick passengers arriving from Mombasa and drop them to the city center.
“We will continue to enhance the customer experience and optimize our services through continuous improvement of our internal systems such as retraining staff on service delivery,” concluded Maina.