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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Matatu Owners Association responds after fuel price increase

Matatu Owners Association (MOA) will not increase fares following an upward review of fuel prices.

Despite the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) raising pump prices to a record high, the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) announced that it will not increase.

The prices for both off-peak and peak hours would remain unchanged, according to traffic coordinator and senior MOA member Brendan Marshall, as the modifications had already been made during the September-October assessment.

He did, however, clarify that the prices for long-distance buses would increase between Ksh100 to Ksh500. 

Due to the rise in fuel prices, buses would also stop providing onboard amenities like beverages.

“For instance, during morning hours, we will still charge Ksh120 or Ksh150. After peak hours, the price will drop to Ksh100 for the better part of the day,” he noted.

“We will just extend the peak hours which previously lasted from 6:00 am to 8:00 am, and will now run up to 10:00 am.”

The reason behind adjusting the prices for long-distance travel, according to Marshall, is to maximise profits.

While conceding that Kenyans will face tougher economic circumstances, he said that the government should meet with players in the transport sector to establish a win-win situation.

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“Since the business (transport) is not booming, they maximise on every travel. The government should come up with something that we can feel, not just words. It needs to be a win-win situation. It’s high time we enjoy doing business,” he explained.

“The business environment is not conducive; you have to pay loans, insurance premiums, city council averaging Ksh7,000. Traffic officers also expect their cut. So this is a crisis that needs to be resolved.”

Failure by the government to cushion Kenyans from the high fuel has resulted in the matatu sector taking extreme measures to stay afloat. 

Marshall highlighted instances where passengers are charged higher prices than the figure they were told by the conductor while boarding the vehicle.

“It’s high time they find alternative ways to deal with all this. All these efforts they are saying they are doing are a drop in the ocean,” he indicated.

In the latest review, Super Petrol, Diesel, and Kerosene will retail at Ksh217.36, Ksh205.47, and Ksh203.06, up from Ksh211.64, Ksh200.99, and Ksh202.61 respectively.

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