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More pain for Kenyans as matatu owners hike fares by 30pc

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Matatu Owners Association has announced a 30 percent increase in fares effective tomorrow Wednesday.

Addressing the press Tuesday, the association’s chairperson, Albert Karakacha, said the decision has been arrived at following the increase of the fuel levy from 8 to 16 percent.

“The sharp increase in fuel costs, coupled with other operational expenses, including an increase in the cost of spare parts, loan interests among others, has forced us to reevaluate our pricing structure to ensure the continued sustainability of our services,” he said.

The owners regretted the challenges operators have been grappling with mainly mounting financial pressures, especially the hike in fuel prices which they said threatened the viability of their businesses.

“After careful consideration and extensive consultations with stakeholders, MOA has determined that a fare adjustment is necessary to mitigate the impact of these challenges. Effective 5′ July 2023, passengers can expect a moderate increase of between 10-20% of the current fares charged across the various routes, including town service and long-distance travels” he announced.

While defending the painful move in the wake of high taxes and levies which have pushed up the cost of living, Karakasha said they had no option but to make the adjustments for the survival of the industry.

“The decision to effect this fare hike was not taken lightly, and we understand the potential impact on commuters and the wider public. However, it is essential to strike a balance between maintaining a reliable and efficient transport system and addressing the economic realities faced by matatu owners” he explained.

The owners however pledged to explore all possible avenues to mitigate the effects while at the same time appealing to the government to subsidize fuel prices for PSV operators in order to alleviate the burden on both matatu operators and passengers

“We are also engaging with relevant stakeholders, including government agencies and fuel suppliers, to address the underlying issues that have led to this situation. We firmly believe that we can find sustainable solutions through constructive dialogue and collaboration among all parties involved” he said.

Source: Fredrick Parsayo

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