Prepare to pay higher fares, Matatu Owners Association tells Kenyans

The Matatu Owners Association has asked its members countrywide to increase the transportation charges. [File, Standard]

Public Service Vehicle (PSV) users will pay higher fares moving forward after the government increased fuel prices, Matatu Owners Association (MOA) says.

The association has asked its members countrywide to increase the transportation charges.

The chairperson of the association, Simon Kimutai, told The Standard that several routes in Nairobi will see fares increase by between Sh20 and Sh50.

“Fuel prices have increased. We use fuel to move from one point to the other. In such circumstances, why shouldn’t we increase our charges?” posed Kimutai.

The MOA chairperson said different operators across the country will come up with their respective formula of reviewing the fares that they charge.

“For instance, if you are paying Sh100 to travel between two points, you’ll be required, moving forward, to pay somewhere between Sh120 and Sh150,” said Kimutai.

The MOA representative said bus fares could rise even further after the government announced that it will gradually do away with the fuel subsidy programme.

“The cost of living is already high. Should the government remove the subsidy programme, then the citizens will suffer even more. The decision is ill-timed,” said Kimutai.

In the latest review by the Energy and Petroleum Authority (EPRA), a litre of petrol in Nairobi retails at Sh159.12, diesel goes for Sh140.0 while kerosene costs Sh127.94.

Kimutai said for every litre of fuel sold, the government pockets a significant amount of money in the form of taxes.

“Where are they taking all this money to? The average Kenyan in not feeling the positive impact of their taxes.”

For instance, for every litre of diesel sold, the State takes at least Sh50 in taxes, while it pockets at least Sh60 for every litre of petrol sold.

Without the fuel subsidy programme, a litre of petrol today would retail at Sh188.

“When fuel prices are exorbitantly high, fewer people would commute. That would mean that a lesser amount of fuel would be bought and fewer vehicles would be on the roads. In the long run, the government would lose because of the taxes it won’t be in a position to collect ,” said Kimutai.