A train crew member distributes biscuits to passengers on board a train from Mombasa to Nairobi along the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, Kenya, June 1, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday launched the passenger train service of the 480-km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), paving way for the nation's endeavor for industrialization and prosperity.(Xinhua/Sun Ruibo)
NAIROBI, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Railways said on Wednesday that some 7,000 passengers have so far traveled on the newly launched Madaraka Express between Mombasa and Nairobi, the highest number ever recorded in one week.
Kenya Railways (KR) Managing Director Atanas Maina said the first phase of the Standard Gauge Rail service, which was launched on May 31, is currently operating with scheduled passenger trains from Nairobi and Mombasa running on a daily basis.
"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 said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The railway firm also announced that plans are under way to introduce the intercounty trains that will make stops at seven railway stations.
A boy passes a fare gate at Mombasa Terminus of Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway, in Kenya, on June 1, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday launched the passenger train service of the 480-km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), paving way for the nation's endeavor for industrialization and prosperity. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)
The train is scheduled to start operations by July. KR and the operator CRBC have put together a joint team to address the customer service issues in order to ensure that the service remains efficient and convenient to the customers.
Maina said they are planning to rescheduling additional trains to cope with demand for train services which is at an all-time high.
"The combination of state-of-the-art design, unrivalled 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," he said.
He said there are 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."
The company has also announced a partnership with National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to enable private bus operators provide last mile services to and from the various destinations along the route.
For passengers in Nairobi, the company has scheduled a daily train to the Nairobi terminus that will be dropping off travelers in the morning from the City Centre and transporting them back to the city from 1 PM when they arrive from Mombasa.
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.
"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," Maina said.
This, in addition to the new online ticket payment platform to be unveiled on Monday, will ensure convenience in travel for all customers.