How to Book a Bus, Buy SGR Tickets via M-PESA

BuuPass, M-PESA and Kenya Railways logos PHOTO/Courtesy

M-PESA is a mobile money transfer service that was launched in Kenya in 2007. It was created by Safaricom, the largest mobile network operator in Kenya, and has since spread to other countries in East Africa and beyond.

The service allows users to send and receive money, pay bills, and buy goods and services using their mobile phones.

To use M-PESA, customers must first register for the service by providing their mobile phone number and a valid form of identification. Once registered, they can deposit cash into their M-PESA account at a Safaricom agent or through a bank transfer.

They can then use their M-PESA account to send money to other M-PESA users or withdraw cash at an agent location.

M-PESA has become an important part of the financial system in Kenya, particularly for those who do not have access to traditional banking services. It has also become a popular way to pay for goods and services, including transportation.

In this article, we will explain how to use M-PESA to book a bus ticket and buy a ticket for the SGR (Standard Gauge Railway) in Kenya. We will provide step-by-step instructions for using M-PESA to make these purchases.

Buying Madaraka Express ticket

Simply dial *639# to buy a Madaraka Express ticket and pay via M-PESA.

  • Buy up to a maximum of 5 tickets in one transaction 24/7 from the comfort of your home, office or even while on the go.
  • You can book your ticket seven (7) days in advance plus a return ticket as long as it is within (seven) 7 day window period.
  • You may also buy tickets over the counter at the Mombasa and Nairobi termini and at the respective departing intermediate station or by calling 0709 388888 and paying via M-PESA
  • Group bookings of over 20 passengers must be made nine (9) days to the travel date.

Booking bus tickets

Safaricom partnered with BuuPass to launch an online service where travelers in the country can book and purchase bus tickets.

The service is currently available with five bus operators including Easy Coach, Modern Coast, Greenline, Palmers and East African Shuttles.

Customers can access the service by dialing *877# and at with payments accepted through M-PESA.

Through the app, customers can select a bus operator, preferred travel date and time, and reserve specific seat numbers. 

 Customers can also reserve seats for multiple travelers, with tickets printed at the bus station after presentation of the confirmation SMS.


BuuPass is a Kenyan-based digital platform that offers various transport-related services to its users, focusing on enabling easy and convenient access to public transport in Kenya.

One of the primary services offered by BuuPass is bus booking. Through the platform, users can book bus tickets for various routes across the country.

BuuPass partners with different bus companies to provide a wide range of options for its users. The platform allows users to choose their preferred bus company, seat, and travel date and time.

Payment for the bus tickets can be made through mobile money, credit card, or other electronic payment options.

Another service provided by BuuPass is the provision of real-time information on bus schedules, routes, and fares. This information is particularly useful for commuters who need to plan their journeys in advance.

The platform also offers a trip planning feature, which enables users to plan their entire journey from start to finish, including any transfers required.

BuuPass also offers a loyalty program for its users. Users earn points every time they book a bus ticket through the platform, and these points can be redeemed for discounts on future bookings. 

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