Pain For Commuters As PSVs Hike Fares After Gov’t Social Distancing Order

A city bus with an advisory on the new fares for passengers [Photo/Courtesy]

Commuters reporting to work in many parts of the country were on Monday forced to pay double in bus fare as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) limit the number of passengers to curb the spread of coronavirus as directed by the government.

The directive, which was issued on Friday by Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe, requires 14-seater matatu operators to reduce their passengers to 8 and 25 seaters to transport 15 passengers.

Those with a larger capacity including the SGR and other trains were ordered to keep a 60 per cent capacity.

This, CS Kagwe said will help passengers adhere to the 1.5 metres social distancing requirement.

Read: Coronavirus: Matatu Operators To Reduce Number Of Passengers, Supermarkets Asked To Stay Open For 24 Hours

The CS said the government will revoke licences of those Sacco’s that will fail to comply.

To remain in business, the operators said they would hike fares if the government wouldn’t look for other ways of dealing with the crisis with some calling on the government to slash fuel prices.

“Fare will certainly go up because the cost of doing business is high,” Simon Kimutai, the Chairperson Matatu Owners Association, said on Friday.

True to their word, in Nairobi, commuters were forced to pay Ksh200 from Nairobi CBD to Ngong. Normal prices in the route range from Ksh80 to Ksh100.

Read Also: Matatu Owners To Be Fined Ksh50,000 For Lack Of Special Seats For Pregnant Women – New Law

On Mombasa Road route, commuters are forced to pay Ksh50 in the morning up from the usual Sh30.

The same trend was witnessed in South B where commuters were forced to part with Ksh100 from the normal Ksh30.

In Umoja, the operators’ hiked fares from the normal KSh70 to Ksh200 one-way.

Kenyans took to social media to air their frustrations further calling on the government to consider lowering fuel prices amid COVID-19 crisis that has had a huge impact on the economy due to limited movement and business.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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