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November 14, 2018

Some saccos retain fares fearing loss of passengers

Matatus on Tom Mboya Avenue on March 30, 2016 / FILE
Matatus on Tom Mboya Avenue on March 30, 2016 / FILE

While some matatus increased their fares following the 16 per cent fuel levy, some saccos have retained their usual rates.

In a meeting on Monday by matatu operators, it was agreed that those operating within the city can hike their fare by Sh20. Those covering long distances outside Nairobi can increase fares by 20 per cent.

A spot check by the Star yesterday showed some operators had maintained their rates, while others increased fares by Sh10 and Sh20.

Umoinner Sacco, which operates between the city centre and Umoja estate, and Komarock’s 19C maintained their prices for fear of losing their passengers to competitors.

“Our standard fare during rush hours in the morning and evening is always Sh80. If we increase by the agreed Sh20, our customers will start using Route 58 [Buruburu], which charges less,” Erico, a Umoinner tout, said.

“We charge Sh50 in the morning from Komarock to town and Sh80 in the evening. Increasing the fare will push away commuters to use other routes. We will suffer a loss,” driver Miano Njenga said.

“We have maintained our fare from Eastleigh to town at Sh50 and Sh30 from town to Eastleigh,” Kennedy Ombati, route 4 driver, said.

Route 25-Baba Dogo also maintained their prices at Sh50 during the day and Sh70 at rush hour.

City shuttle buses on the Westlands-Kangemi route also maintained their fare at Sh30.

However, Metro Sacco, which operates on the Westlands-Kikuyu route, yesterday morning charged Sh40, up from the usual Sh30.

On the Ongata Rongai route, Orokise and Ongata saccos charged Sh150 at rush hour. The new rates for KBS route 58 are Sh70, up from Sh60, while route 45 (Githurai) added Sh10 to the normal Sh50 rate.

Embassava Sacco charged Sh100 up from Sh80, while route 7 to Gikomba market increased the fare by Sh10.

Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua said the fare increase was optional to saccos.

“The routes that are able to operate with their normal rates should maintain them. But those who want to adjust are free to do so within the agreed Sh20 or 20 per cent,” Mbugua said.

He added that the small increase will help operators meet operational and maintenance costs.

 

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