Coast Public Transport Fare Hikes: Operators Respond to Fuel Price Increase
Public transportation operators along the Coast region have pledged to increase fares following the recent rise in fuel prices announced by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA). Salim Mbarak, the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) Coast Region Coordinator, stated that they will be compelled to adjust fares later this week in order to compensate for the increase in pump prices.
To determine the new rates for each route, the operators have organized a meeting scheduled for Wednesday. They are also awaiting a court decision regarding a recent case presented by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah. Mbarak emphasized the need for unity among all Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations (Saccos), and they aim to reach a consensus on fare adjustments while considering the economic challenges faced by their customers.
However, Mbarak assured that they will not burden their customers excessively since they are aware of the financial hardships they are currently enduring. The transport operators cannot sustain their operations if they operate at a loss, which is why fare adjustments are necessary.
Motorists have expressed their dissatisfaction with the increased prices, deeming them exorbitant. Taxi operators are particularly frustrated as foreign online applications have failed to adjust their rates in accordance with Kenya’s inflation. Consequently, many taxi operators are considering switching to local apps like YEGO, which offer more reasonable rates.
Currently, most matatus operating on the Mombasa-Nyali route are still charging the regular fares of Sh70. However, they have announced their intention to raise fares starting this week to ensure their financial viability. Mathew Njuguna, a matatu operator on the Nyali-Mwembe yari route, stated that they are currently barely breaking even and need to increase fares to cover their expenses.