In accordance with the most recent update, passengers heading to Mombasa will experience a fare increase to Sh1,500, effective from January 1, 2024, which is an upward adjustment from the existing Sh1,000 fare. However, tickets purchased before this date will remain unaffected by the price change.
The management has announced that customers making advance bookings for the Madaraka Express Passenger Service will observe the revised fares starting from November 1, 2023.
For travelers desiring the first-class experience, the new fare will be Sh4,500, marking an increase from the previous rate of Sh3,000.
This fare adjustment is attributed to developments in the energy and petroleum sector, where fuel prices have risen significantly, leading to increased operational costs, as explained by Kenya Railways.
Passengers embarking on journeys from various locations will incur the following fares:
- Athi River to Mombasa: Sh1,430
- Emali to Mombasa: Sh1,100
- Kibwezi to Mombasa: Sh890
- Voi to Mombasa: Sh440
- Mtito Andei to Mombasa: Sh750
- Miasenyi to Mombasa: Sh290
- Mariakani to Mombasa: Sh110
These fare adjustments apply to the Madaraka Express Passenger Service, Madaraka Express Commuter Service, Nairobi Commuter Railway Service, Kisumu Safari Train, and Nanyuki Safari Train.
The Economic Survey of 2022 indicates a substantial increase in passenger numbers using the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), with figures rising from 806,000 in 2020 to 1,933,000 in 2021. Earnings from the Madaraka Express also more than doubled during this period, reaching Sh2.2 billion, up from Sh896 million in 2020.
The SGR train service continues to serve as the preferred mode of transportation for many, particularly to the coastal region. This preference is due to the relatively short travel time of about six hours to reach Mombasa.
Children under three years of age ride for free on the train, while those aged 3-11 pay half the adult fare for both economy and first-class tickets. Bus fares, on the other hand, typically range from Sh1,500 to Sh3,000, depending on the coach class and the bus company.
The completion of the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway has contributed to a significant increase in passenger numbers, with 1.9 million passengers in the first nine months of the year, indicating the potential to surpass the figures from 2022.
Recent data from the SGR reveals that, since its official launch in 2017, more than 11,155,000 passengers have been transported. From June 2017 to June 11 of the current year, the Madaraka Express has transported an astonishing 10,335,919 passengers, covering approximately 7,358,241 kilometers. The 592 km track runs from Mombasa to Nairobi, terminating in the Rift Valley town of Naivasha at Suswa.