The Kenya Railways Corporation is set to provide free public Wi-Fi at the various standard gauge railway (SGR) terminus to improve passenger experience.
WiFi has become a necessity for many in public places such as commuter stations who may use the internet for work as they go, check for service updates, or stay entertained as they wait to travel.
KRC said the free WiFi would be installed at all SGR terminus, including Nairobi, Mtito Andei, Mombasa, Voi, Athi River, Emali, Mariakana, Miasenyi, and Kibwezi.
The number of passengers who used SGR grew to 2.52 million in the financial year ended June 2023, up from 2.35 million in the previous year and nearly double the 1.39 million during the service’s inaugural year.
The increase in passenger numbers helped grow the SGR’s overall revenue by 21.2 percent increase in the financial year to June 2023, mainly driven by higher cargo haulage and passenger traffic.
Data from KRC shows SGR made a record Sh18.2 billion in revenues during the period, marking a significant increase from the Sh15.01 billion it earned in the previous year.
The performance for the year to June 2023 marked the fifth successive annual increase in SGR revenue since the train service was launched by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017.
Earnings from SGR make up 82 percent of KRC’s revenue, with the increase helping push up its total revenues by 25.6 percent to Sh22.24 billion.
The revenues are expected to rise significantly going forward after passenger fares were raised by 50 percent at the start of this year.
KRC in January this year raised fare prices on the SGR train between Nairobi and Mombasa by 50 percent in a bid to keep up with rising costs of running the train service, especially increasing fuel prices.
Following the price adjustments, passengers in first-class coaches now pay Sh4,500 from Sh3,000 last year to travel between the two cities. Those travelling in economy class coaches are paying Sh1,500 up from Sh1,000.