Kenya Railways goes cashless starting February
The Kenya Railways (KR) will no longer accept cash payments for tickets at all Madaraka Express stations as of February 1, 2023.
A notice from the KR management advised customers to use M-Pesa or debit/credit cards as an alternative mode of payment at all Points of Service.
“We wish to notify our customers and general public that effective February 1, 2023, we will no longer be accepting cash for purchase of tickets at all Madaraka Express Passenger Service Stations,” reads the notice.
This move towards a cashless system is expected to improve the efficiency and convenience of the ticketing process for customers, enhance security and reduce the risk of fraud.
In the notice, the management expressed their appreciation for the continued support of their customers and assured them that the company is committed to providing a high-quality and reliable service.
This new development is in line with the Kenya Kwanza administration’s plan to digitize all government services, to enhance service delivery.
The Chinese-built railway that has been in operation since 2017 has been using a hybrid payment system that involves cash, mobile money, and plastic money.
In 2017, Madaraka Express introduced an SMS-based payment platform utilizing USSD code *639# for passengers to book and pay for tickets through their mobile phones.
The code enables passengers to reserve seats, pay, and even cancel tickets for the Madaraka Express.
Kenya Railways has recently been highly alert over online fraudsters targeting SGR passengers.
In a statement in October 2021, Kenya Railways said fraudsters behind the scam posed as corporation employees to defraud Madaraka Express customers.
The scammers are said to lure their potential victims through phone calls, text messages, and social media posts and purport to offer ticket cancellation and refund services.
The management urged members of the public to be on the lookout and not to comply with requests to share personal information.
Earlier this month, there was relief for passengers after KR said that the SGR train would start to make intermediate stops in Voi beginning February 1, 2023.
In a public notice, KR announced that passengers aboard the 3 pm Madaraka Express train from Mombasa and Nairobi termini could board and alight the train at Voi station.
The passenger train services between Nairobi and Mombasa cost Sh1,000 for economy class and Sh3,000 for first class, according to fares released by the railways’ management.
It took the Government two and half years to construct 472 kilometers of the SGR from the port city of Mombasa to the capital city of Nairobi.