16 September 2018

Kenya: How Nairobians Are Beating Inflated Matatu Fares

Photo: Salaton Njau/Nairobi News
Matatus on Mama Ngina Street within Nairobi's Central Business District.

Increased bus fares in some city routes occasioned by fuel prices has compelled some thrifty Nairobians innovate ingenious means of forcing matatu touts to reduce the fares.

Among the means that some commuters have resorted to is boycotting matatus that charge exorbitant fares.

That was the case on Friday night at the Githurai bus terminus, people refused to board matatus that were asking for Sh 40.

"We cannot pay Sh 40 to Githurai that is very expensive for 8pm. Not until they reduce it we are not going to board," said Kennedy Sagana.

Efforts by the touts to convince the passengers to board the matatus were futile.

At some point the passengers moved in large numbers from one point to the other as they snubbed pleas from the touts to get on board.

Beaten at their own game, the tout were eventually compelled to reduce the fares to Sh 30.


A similar scenarios unfolded at the Eastleigh bus terminus. Here, passengers, who had already boarded a matatus asking for Sh 30, quickly disembarked and boarded another matatu charging less.

"They are taking advantage of us and it is not fair by all means. We also need to show our displeasure," said Mary Kimathi.

Touts interviewed said that they reduce the fares to save time.

"It is not our wish to reduce the bus fare. We only do it to save time and do more trips to achieve daily targets," said Hillary Ochieng who works in a matatu that plies the Mombasa road route.

Another tout in a matatu which plies the Thika Superhighway route said she follows orders from her bosses when it comes to hiking and reducing bus fare.

For the last two weeks passengers digging deeper into their pockets to pay bus fare following the enforcement of a 16% VAT on petroleum products.


Kipchoge to Give Evidence in Fresh Rio Scam Investigations

Athletics legend Kipchoge Keino will now not be charged but instead give evidence in the Sh55 million Rio Olympic Games… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Nairobi News. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.