President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the reduction of fares for passengers using the new Standard Gauge Railway passenger train. Speaking during the launch of the passenger train in Mombasa on Wednesday, the head of state fixed the fare for economy class at Sh700 for passengers traveling from Nairobi to Mombasa, adding that no extra charges should be made on a common Kenyan.
“We have done the math, from Mombasa to Nairobi the fare should not exceed Sh700,” President Kenyatta announced amid cheers from the crowd. The President’s directive is a reduction from the initially proposed Sh900 announced a day earlier by his Transport Secretary James Macharia.
The fares for first class will however remain at the initial Sh3,000.
President Uhuru Kenyatta further ordered for the reduction of the fee charged on cargo moving from Mombasa to Nairobi. Containers that were averagely being charged Sh100,000 as freight by road transporters from coastal city of Mombasa to Nairobi will now be charged Sh50,000 by the railway operator.
The initially proposed Sh900 fare for economy class had been arrived at after a study by Aarvee of India in collaboration with Wanjohi & Mutonyi Consulting Engineers (technical), Equity Investment Bank (financial) and Amolo & Gacoka Advocates (legal), groups that the government hired in March to help determine the fares for the new railway.