Kenya Railways To Abolish Cash Payments For SGR

However, the announcement did not sit well with a section of Kenyans who lamented over the...

Kenya Railways To Abolish Cash Payments For SGR
The SGR Madaraka Express train at Kibwezi station, Makueni County. /NAIROBI NEWS

Kenyans using the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) for their trips between Nairobi and Mombasa will from next week no longer use cash to buy their tickets.

This is after the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) announced on Wednesday, January 25 that it will scrap cash payments beginning Wednesday, February 1.

In a statement, KRC advised its customers to use alternative methods to purchase their SGR tickets.

A person paying for an item with his phone. /FILE

"We wish to notify our customers and the general public that effective 1st February 2023, we will no longer be accepting cash for the purchase of tickets at all Madaraka Express passenger service stations. 

"Customers are therefore advised to use mobile money or debit/Credit cards at all points of service," part of the statement read.

Alternatively, Kenya Railways announced that individual or group bookings can be done through the USSD code *639# or by visiting the website

However, the announcement did not sit well with a section of Kenyans who lamented over the extra costs they would incur in the process.

"This is ridiculous and patently unconstitutional. How can you not accept legal tender? Think about foreigners.

"Why should we incur additional fees which don't add any value? Sort your integrity issues given that your station is heavily guarded," wrote Samo K on Twitter.

"This is unacceptable because not all your customers come from big towns! Think about it and stop giving people strange conditions!" Titus Kilonzo weighed in.

However, other users supported the move, noting that this would effectively streamline the train services. In addition, they asked for accountability in form of feedback from their platforms.

On February 1, 2023, the Madaraka Express 3.00 pm train, which usually runs non-stop, will have a stopover at Voi station for the first time ever, which means a change in its train schedule.

The stopover at the coastal town will be for only five minutes, afterwhich it will proceed with its journey between the two destinations.

"The Mombasa to Nairobi afternoon Express train will now arrive at Voi station at 4:38 pm and depart at 4:43 pm; while the Nairobi to Mombasa afternoon Express train will arrive at Voi station at 6:48 pm and depart at 6:53 pm," the notice read in part.

The Mombasa to Nairobi train will therefore complete its journey at 8:18 pm, with the Nairobi to Mombasa train completing its journey at 8:30 pm.

Taita Taveta County Trade, Tourism, Gender Culture and Cooperatives executive Milkah Righa meets KR officials outside Voi SGR Station in 2020. /THE STAR