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Kenyans lament hiked fare prices in matatus over Coronavirus

By Fay Ngina | March 23rd 2020

A section of some Kenyans on Monday morning, 23rd March, came out and lamented over the hiked fare prices in the wake on Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. 

As most matatus chose to adhere to the measures given by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe to curb the pandemic, some operators have decided to take advantage of the situation.

A good example is a route from Utawala to town, where passengers are now forced to pay double the normal price. 

According to the management of the bus, the adjust in fare prices comes after a directive by the Health CS to carry fewer passengers. 

"Following the Ministry of Health Advisory on 20th March 2020, this bus shall only be able to serve a maximum of 17 passengers per trip. To be able to effectively serve you, we have adjusted our fares slightly as follows: Utawala- Town =200/, Town-Utawala=150/," read the notice on the matatu.

Other routes that have also been affected include Donholm, Jogoo Road, Mombasa Road, Waiyaki Way, and Ngong Road.

Mutoko Junior says, "From Donholm to Airport is it was 50 now 100/120 From Taj Mall to Airport it was 50 now 70/80 From Cabanus to Airport it was 30 now 50."

Along Waiyaki Way, a distance where people would typically pay about Sh30 is now being charged Sh80, which is almost triple the price.

However, when it came to matters of fare, there were divided opinions where some people justified the hike while others condemned the move.

Felix Orwa says," The hike in bus fare is justified. Unless and until the @StateHouseKenya talks on the fuel price. Again, let's walk where we can."

His sentiments were echoed by Thomas Munyao, who says," People are complaining about increased matatu prices. The vehicle owner has divided the target per trip (plus cost of sanitizers) amongst the existing passengers. If the government attempts, price controls, some of them will."

Frank Loiter says, "Government must reconsider fuel prices in the wake of drop in oil in world market 28$ Don't wait up to 14/4."

What was most commendable amongst most matatus is that they are carrying fewer passengers as ordered.

In Machakos County, Governor Alfred Mutua has banned the use of motorbikes for the next two weeks to help curb the spread of the pandemic. 


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