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Kenya Railways drops free parking for motorists as it struggles to make the USD3.2B worth Madaraka Express project profitable

Since it was launched on May 31 last year by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Standard Gauge Railways has struggled to take off and the corporation has not been making meaningful profit.

Kenya Railways has dropped free parking and motorists will now have pay to enter the SGR stations in a move aimed at increasing income from the mega project.

Under the new parking fee, saloon cars accessing the SGR stations to pick or drop passengers will part with Sh100 ($1).

Large trucks and buses will part with Sh200 ($2) while mini-buses and pick-ups will part with Sh150 ($1.5 and Sh100 ($1) respectively.

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“Kenya Railways is in the process of installing automatic parking management system. In the interim, manual ticketing on all SGR stations has been put in place which will see motorists pay parking fee to access the SGR stations. This is part of a wider plan aimed at keeping us afloat financially,” said KR managing director Atanas Maina.

Since it was launched on May 31 last year by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Standard Gauge Railways has struggled to take off and the corporation has not been making meaningful profit.

The situation was expected to improve once SGR freight train services between Nairobi and the coastal town of Mombasa become operational early this month but most transporters have however shunned it over last mile costs forcing the corporation to take another drastic action and force importers to use the SGR service.

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In a bid to make the service effective, the corporation with the backing of the government demoted almost its entire board over poor SGR performance last week.

Similarly, Kenya Railways on February announced that it will be hiking the fare from Sh700 ($7) to Sh1200 ($12) in the next two months after approvals by the Transport Ministry.

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