Kenya’s SGR passenger usage returns to pre-COVID-19 levels

On July 13, 2020, local time, in Nairobi, Kenya, a passenger train on the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Kenya, which was suspended for 97 days due to the new crown epidemic, resumed operation on the 13th.
A passenger stores his baggage on a train on the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 13, 2020. /CFP Photo

Some 1.19 million people used Kenya’s standard gauge railway train in the first eight months to August as passenger numbers returned to pre-COVID-19 levels, according to economic data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on Monday.

This was an increase of 139 percent from 498,444 in the same period in 2020.

Most of the passengers of the train that shuttles between the capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa traveled in July and August, where a record 223,106 and 201,539 people respectively used the service, according to KNBS.

The surge in the number of passengers follows the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Kenya amid the high vaccination of citizens.

This has thus helped to resume some activities, including conferencing and tourism.

With increased traveling on the modern train, Kenya’s tourism bedrock Mombasa has received a huge boom.

During the period, the freight service hauled 3.4 million tonnes of cargo in the eight months, up from 3 million in the same period in 2020, said the KNBS.