SGR Child Fares: Children traveling with their parents on the Standard Gauge Railway line will now have to pay the full fares.

The new SGR child fares will take effect from June 1. “Minors above three years shall (now) pay full fares,” read a company notice.

Up until this year, the minors currently pay Sh. 1,500 for first class and Sh. 500 for economy class tickets compared to Sh. 3,000 and Sh. 1,000 by adults respectively.

Revealed: How China used SGR loan to ‘get’ Kenya’s key assets

The minors will be required to present their parents’ or guardians’ identity cards during booking and a copy of the document when travelling alone.

“In addition to M-Pesa, passengers can now pay for the ticket using credit/debit cards for online booking. Each passenger will be allowed only two pieces of luggage, not exceeding 30 kilogrammes and 1.6 metres in height and length,” said the management.

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) runs the SGR cargo and passenger business at an undisclosed management fee.

The Treasury also expects the SGR business to generate more revenue to help offset loans taken to build the multi-billion shilling railway line.

It will pay Sh. 36.24 billion in the current year, which will rise to Sh. 82.5 billion from July when loan becomes due.

Kenya borrowed Sh. 324 billion for the project from from China Exim Bank in May 2014, to be repaid in 15 years, with a grace period of five years.

Kenya’s key strategic assets at home and abroad will not be protected by “sovereignty” and risk being seized by the Chinese government should there be a default in repaying the SGR loan, a copy of the contract says.

The initial agreement for the Mombasa-Nairobi railway signed on May 11, 2014 also details how the pact will be governed by Chinese laws, with all disputes being arbitrated in Beijing.

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