UNFAIR COMPETITION

Kwale matatu operators decry disruption of sector by tuk-tuks

They say the tricycle taxis are ruining their business through reduced fares

In Summary

• Drivers and Conductors chief of security Suleiman Mwachoa complained that tuk-tuks have posed a stiff competition for clients.

• Early last year, PSVs operator protested against unfair competition from Probox cars, school buses and county vehicles.

Drivers and Conductors chief of security Suleiman Mwachoa at Kwale Poster Stage, Matuga, January 2021.
DISPLEASED: Drivers and Conductors chief of security Suleiman Mwachoa at Kwale Poster Stage, Matuga, January 2021.
Image: SHABAN OMAR

Kwale Matatu operators have decried the disruption of the transport sector by tuk-tuks and long-distance buses plying the Kwale-Kinango- Nairobi route.

They said the tricycle taxis have become a menace to the business, hence ruining matatu profits.

Drivers and Conductors chief of security Suleiman Mwachoa complained that tuk-tuks have posed a stiff competition for clients.

“The tricycle taxis are now many and oftentimes they walk away with our customers because of their flexibility and size,” he said.

Mwachoa said the customers decide to take tuk-tuks to save time and shun away from the matatu that has to queue for almost half an hour waiting to be full.

The PSV workers said the three-wheelers have no standard fares as theirs keep fluctuating depending on time.

Usually, from Kwale town to Kombani is Sh150, but the tuk-tuks charge Sh100. From Kombani to Ukunda, matatus charge Sh70-80 but the tricycles take Sh50.

According to Mwachoa, the tuk-tuk drivers have taken advantage of the fares. He called on the county to intervene, saying the matatu business would be wiped out and hundreds will lose jobs.

They said Covid-19 already wreaked havoc in the sector and they will barely survive with the existence of the uncontrolled tuk-tuk business.

Omar Mwarachuo, a conductor, said the Nairobi buses are the second leading disruptor of matatu work in the county. He said that before, people used to travel to Mombasa to book for buses but now booking offices are spread all over the region.

Mwarachuo said the buses are picking the clients at their designated places along the way, thus interfering with the matatu daily activities.

Early last year, PSV operators protested against unfair competition from Probox cars, school buses and county vehicles. It took the intervention of security officers to restore order in the public transport sector.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

Kwale-Kombani matatu route picks customers in Matuga sub-county.
TRANSPORT: Kwale-Kombani matatu route picks customers in Matuga sub-county.
Image: SHABAN OMAR