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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Miritini businesses boom as SGR travellers bring life

A staff of Kenya Railways assists a client to get a taxi at the Miritini SGR terminus
A staff of Kenya Railways assists a client to get a taxi at the Miritini SGR terminus

Every day, at least 2,700 travellers use the Madaraka Express either from Nairobi to Mombasa or from the coastal city to Nairobi travelling either way. The train is very punctual, and leaves the station at 9 AM.

A number of users have raised concerns about the distance from town centre in Nairobi to the Syokimau station, and also from Miritini to Mombasa central business district.

This has however not deterred those keen on making use of opportunity, as business responds to the prepared.

At the Miritini station, in spite of the fact that the SGR has teamed up with Kenya Railways to conveniently ferry passengers to the terminus from Mombasa CBD which is 11 Kilometres away, a good number of people rely on the public transport to make their way.

Benson Mureithi from Benki safaris and chairman of Matatu Owners Association Mombasa, is one of those reaping big from the Miritini SGR Terminus. He is in charge of a fleet of buses that ferry passengers from Miritini to Mombasa CBD.

“Before this SGR Terminus started the operations, most of us were worried because we are financing car loans but since the station commenced it’s operations, the business has picked and we are no longer worried. We have about 17 buses and nowadays we are able to make atleast Sh7,000 per day,” he said to the Star. Initially, he reveals, they made only Sh3,000.

Boda Boda and the Tuk Tuk operators have also benefitted from more trips to and from the terminus. Felix Wafula, a Boda Boda operator based in the Miritini area is happy; he says business is good.

“Initially I used to make around Sh700 per day but after the SGR terminus started operations I now take home Sh1500 per day. Am hopeful that once another train is added on the line, I will be in a position to make enough to bring in another motorcycle for business.”

Locals have benefitted from the road linking Miritini terminus to the airport and Mombasa CBD. Also the 1.5 kilometre road from Miritini shopping centre to the station is expected to ease movement of traffic for thousands of passengers using the Madaraka Express train services.

Investors are now building up rental houses as businesses is expected to grow. Silas Ongore is a contractor in Miritini area and he is keen to note that the locals are upbeat about the SGR train service and the business it offers.

“We expect businesses around Miritini area to grow and that means even the employees working in the terminus will reside around this area. Many rental houses are coming up,” Ongore said.

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