SGR Services to Resume as Govt Announces Strict Matatu Protocols

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off SGR Phase 2A at the Nairobi Terminus on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    President Uhuru Kenyatta flags off SGR Phase 2A at the Nairobi Terminus on Wednesday, October 16, 2019
  • Ministry of Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Wednesday, July 8 issued new guidelines of the transport sector.

    The guidelines were necessitated by the easing of a number of Covid-19 containment protocols including the resumption of local and international air travel as well as the lifting of the cessation of movement.

    Part of the measures announced by Macharia included the resumption of the SGR Passenger service, Madaraka Express, on Monday, July 13, but to only operate at under 50% of the total capacity with an extra isolation coach.

    Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking in Parliament
    Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia speaking in Parliament

    The first trip is set to depart Nairobi at 8 a.m and will arrive in Mombasa at 12:45 p.m, embarking on its journey back to Nairobi at 1:25 p.m. and arrive in Nairobi at 6:45 p.m. hence leaving ample time for passengers to beat the 9 p.m to 4 a.m curfew.

    Ten coaches will be deployed with a total capacity of 600 passengers which is the 50% capacity and a Nairobi Commuter service will also be provided from the Syokimau Terminus to the CBD Station.

    The commuter train service shall run at 6.35 a.m. and from CBD to Syokimau and last train from Syokimau to CBD to arrive at 6.50 p.m.

    Any Public Service Vehicle (PSV) leaving counties that were previously under the cessation of movement order will be required to have a clearance certificate.

    "When they get into the counties, the responsibility becomes that of the public health officers in the county in conjunction with traffic police and the Council of Governors to ensure compliance," noted Macharia.

    The PSV companies will also be required to file a manifest of all the passengers that have travelled to aid in contract tracing should anyone turn positive.

    He added that only airline crew and passengers would be allowed to the airports and that all crew shall be exempted from quarantine after a flight if their body temperatures were not above 37 degrees and if there was no suspected Covid-19 case in the flight.

    The crew shall be quarantined in case of a suspected case from the flight while passengers flying into Kenya will require Covid-19-free certificates.

    Passengers within two rows of a suspected case will be quarantined for testing and those with negative tests will be allowed to leave, if positive, they will be quarantined.

    "About the airlines whether they will be required to reduce the capacity, because of the complex and robust measures which have been taken for airlines we shall not require them to reduce the number of passengers in flight.

    "You can imagine if we did so no airline will fly because the cut-off point of airlines to break even is usually 75% capacity," stated the CS.

    The airlines operating locally that will be allowed to resume service on Wednesday, July 15 include Kenya Airways, Jambo Jet, Aim Air, Boskovic Air and Scenic Safaris.

    An image of country bus station
    A file image of passengers scrambling to board a bus at Country Bus Station, Nairobi.