Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger traffic increased 17.9 percent in 2023 to hit a new high of 2.73 million, the national statistics bureau said Friday.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) said traffic rose from 2.39 million passengers in 2022 as more citizens embraced the train, thanks to its reliability, convenience, and affordability.

During the period, December recorded the highest number of traffic, with the train ferrying an all-time high of 304,605 passengers, followed by August at 278,929.

The Chinese-built train generated 2.93 billion Kenyan shillings (about 21.8 million U.S. dollars) from the 2.73 million passengers, an increase from 19.3 million dollars in 2022, the KNBS said.

Similarly, cargo volumes sustained an upward trend, with the train service hauling 6.53 million tonnes of cargo that generated 108 million dollars, up from 6.01 million tonnes in 2022, which raised 95.5 million dollars in 2022, according to the KNBS.

The Chinese-built train has become a crucial means of transport for Kenyan travelers, coming in handy, especially during school holidays and holiday seasons like Easter and Christmas.