Matatu Operators Threaten to Hike Fares After Uhuru Opens Borders 


  • Matatu operators have threatened to increase fares for public service vehicles (PSVs) entering and leaving five counties that were previously marked as red Covid-19 areas.

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    This comes a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted a moratorium on movement within Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Machakos and Kajiado counties.

    Operators complained about some safety measures such as 60 percent of the carrying capacity. They called on the government to review the competency directives issued to PSVs.

    Matatus on traffic trying to Waiyaki Road in Nairobi


    “The third sector has been one of the most affected sectors since the Covid-19 epidemic hit the country. We urge the government to look into our problems, “said one of the three operators.

    Report of NTV showed that the additional cost would cover the high cost of fuel and other uses. For example, part of the buses heading to Nairobi from Mombasa found that they would board fares up to more than Ksh2,000 if their problem was not addressed.

    In addition, some operators have not yet resumed business at a time when many operators have previously asked the government to lift travel bans in five counties.

    They also condemned the involvement of private vehicles which they claimed had infiltrated the transportation business, thus undermining their services.

    The news comes at a time when the Three Owners Association (MOA) of Kenya boss Simon Kimutai had filed three claims to reduce fares after Uhuru imposed a travel ban on five counties.

    He noted that the costs will only be reduced if the government reduces the cost of fuel, license requirements and three monthly fees are all provided to county governments.

    Number one, zero zero tariffs for our fuel. This would translate to around Ksh50 or less per Liter. Number two, licensing. When you want to work, you apply for a license from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). That should be eliminated. .

    “Number three is the county governments not getting rid of our taxes. Each car pays Ksh5,000 in Nairobi for one month, ”Kimutai said.

    He noted that if the application is completed, the operators will cover the cost of operating and maintaining their ships and thus reduce fares.

    “We are not asking (the government) to give us money, we just want to be empowered to control other costs,” he explained.


    Chairman of the Matatu Owners Association (MOA), Simon Kimutai addressing the media in 2019




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