One of the most disappointing parts of the SGR train experience, was the fact that at launch, one could only get the tickets by physically going to the new train stations, which left hundreds of people stranded after they planned their trips only to find the trains fully booked.
Answering to the plight of Kenyans, Kenya Railways finally added the option to pay for a ticket via mobile money (ok, M-Pesa since that is the only one working at the moment).
The process is, well, how do I put this nicely, so 1997. It involves making a call to customer care (we all know how wonderful that it), long numbers to input and a lot of ways to make errors.
Here’s the process:
- Call customer care on 0709 388 888 (between 7am and 4pm)
- Provide your travel dates, cabin choice (VIP or economy) and phone number to the customer care representative
- You will be informed of the amount you are to pay by the customer care representative
- You then receive an sms with the pay bill number, payment ID and amount to be paid
- You will then be required to pay the full amount via Lipa Na M-Pesa Pay Bill option
- You will receive your ticket details via SMS
- On the travel day, kindly arrive at the station early enough to allow you time to print your boarding pass at the self-service machines at the station
Yup, not exactly the easiest way to get a ticket but at least you will not have to gamble like you did before.
Kenya Railways have also launched an online booking platform that we’re not so sure works but here’s a system that works, booking and paying for your Madaraka Express train via USSD: