Matatu Owners Association announces new fares, an increase of 50% following EPRA fuel price review.
Following the recent increase in fuel prices, the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) announced a 40–50% fare hike, putting Kenyans in for tougher times.
The association said that during peak and off-peak hours for areas surrounding Nairobi and its capital, the fares will rise by Ksh30 to Ksh50.
Further, the timelines for charging these amounts will be extended in order to capitalize on the rates.
Speaking in an interview, Brendan Marshall, traffic coordinator and senior member of the Matatu Owners Association said that the sharp increase in fuel costs creates a ripple effect on other commodities which forced them to re-evaluate their pricing structure.
“For instance, a matatu that initially charged Ksh100 during peak hours will now charge between Ksh120 or Ksh150. We will also extend the peak hours which previously lasted from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., and will run up to 10:00 a.m.,” he said.
“In the evening, the peak hours will begin an hour earlier and start at 4:00 pm and last till 7:00 pm. During this time, the fare will cost around Ksh150. After 7:00 pm, the fare will remain a constant Ksh100.”
Marshall also explained that during off-peak hours, fares will hike by Ksh30 to Ksh50, meaning that if a matatu was charging Ksh50, it will now charge Ksh70 or Ksh80.
He added that the move is aimed at cushioning their business from adverse effects occasioned by the fuel hike.
“This will cause a rift between us and our workers because, at the end of the day, targets need to be met. Most of the time, the cars are purchased on loans so the banks expect their cut, and the owners expect their cut as well, so it’s high time we hike the prices.”
“At the end of the month, we have to pay insurance premiums, city council averaging Ksh7,000, traffic officers also expect their cut, so this is a dire situation that needs to be addressed.”
He noted that the new prices would come into effect instantly, noting that the matatu sector was not given a grace period to adjust to the new prices.
“As of today, since the fuel prices came into effect at midnight. We did a spot-check and found that some petrol stations were hoarding fuel at around 9:00 pm yesterday so that they adjust new prices so we cannot give a grace period,” he said.
He advised passengers to make use of off-peak fare rates and also use public transport only when necessary to cut down on costs.
The announcement on the increase in fares comes after on Thursday, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) increased the fuel prices of petrol, diesel, and kerosene prices by Ksh16.96, Ksh21.32, and Ksh33.13 per litre, respectively.
This means that the prices will now retail at Ksh211.64, Ksh200.99, and Ksh202.61 in Nairobi.