Kenya Railways is taking Kenyans for a ride with endless tales instead of facilitating memorable trips

Charging at only $7 for an economy class seat and $30 for first class, SGR was a game changer almost too good to be true.

Finally the back breaking journey to the coastal town of Mombasa which takes between 10 – 12 hours would be over; finally the numerous gridlock traffic jams not to mention accidents would be over.

Close to 2 months down the line, Kenyans are however getting frustrated by the day and regretting their short lived celebration.

Apart from postponing the launch of the much-awaited country train services until further notice not to mention the lack of commuters details on the ticket, after all, we live in an era of terrorism and God forbid should some radicalized dimwit think of making a statement inside the much loved SGR.

The most frustrating thing was the lack of online booking after all Kenya is the home of MPesa, one of the world’s greatest mobile money transfer inventions yet Kenyans could not book a single trip to the coast via MPesa, what an epic failure!

After numerous complaints, Kenya railways on June 24, finally unveiled online booking but not what Kenyans had expected.

It released a six step process of booking the train complete with a tool free line which operates from 7am-4pm for commuters to call and make the booking, Kenyans were infuriated.

“This is utter shame. Kindly DM me to develop an end to end comprehensive online booking style.

Wake up guys, it is 2017, who makes a call to make a booking?

Kenyans want to go to a website or app and book for their ticket and get a ticket number which will enable them to board the train.” Mutie Mule posted on the page without a response.

Kenya Railways (KR) it seems had forgotten phone calls get jammed because millions of Kenyans would be calling at the same time, providing only a single number to call was simply short sighted on their path, to say the least.

“I have been calling the line for the better of the day but no one has been picking my calls,” Erastus Mulwa, a passenger who failed to book yesterday’s train told a local daily.

Commuters booking via M-Pesa must first call to book space before paying through the paybill accounts.

And sure enough, when Business Insider SSA tried to call the number it was forever engaged as line busy proofing indeed Kenya Railway is trying desperately to keep up with the Madaraka Express more than 56 days after the launch.

KR has defended itself by saying the booking hitches is the product of inadequate operators, adding that the staff are fewer than the 120 call pick-up points.

“There are so many calls coming in at a time. You have to exercise some level of patience for it to be received as there are few operators manning the lines at the moment,” corporate affairs manager Mary Oyuke said while denying the calls are unattended.

KR on July 19 released a statement about the ticketing concern but did not give a specific deadline further infuriating Kenyans

“I still cannot understand how ticketing was never planned in advance for a multi billion project that took years to plan, execute and complete. Some things can only happen in Kenya. Hope you fix it soon.”  Gakuta James wondered out aloud.

“Was it part of your strategic planning or it has come as an afterthought. You are taking us for a ride, how comes with brokers tickets are available?” Jesse Gitau posed to Kenya Railwa without a feedback.

“This soon is worrying 45days and you keep saying soon what’s the big deal give us a timeline please Kenya Railways for us to take you seriously. the security you are saying is monitoring is the same security selling tickets.” Dennis Mwindi bitterly complained.

Hopefully, Kenya Railways can address these issues promptly and stop taking Kenyans for a ride,Madaraka Express was meant to be a memorable journey not a nightmare.


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