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City matatus take over upcountry routes

City matatus have taken over the Machakos country bus termini as passengers travelling upcountry for the Christmas Holiday surge.

The matatus contravene traffic regulations by ferrying passengers in routes they are not designated to operate on.

City matatus which took over the termini include KBS, Umoinner, Metro Trans, City Shuttle, Forward Travellers, Lopha Travellers and Nairobi Metropolitan Shuttle.

 

Some travellers protested the involvement of city matatus in upcountry routes.

“I cannot travel home with a vehicle which I am not sure about. I have to wait for a vehicle which I know even if it takes more hours,” said Sylvester Mokaya who was travelling to Kisii.

According to him, many of those vehicles end up causing accidents.

“Most drivers do not understand the terrain of the roads. It is easy for them to cause accidents,” he said.

Mr Mokaya was at the station at 6.00 a.m. but found the vehicle he had booked was yet to arrive. His story is replicated by thousands of other people who thronged bus stations to travel upcountry for Christmas.

According to Evans Saoke, the owners of upcountry vehicles want to make easy money.

“People are going to suffer because of inexperienced drivers on roads they are not familiar with,” he expressed his fear.

The city matatus were charging less  than the upcountry ones on Monday.

For example, going to Mwingi was Sh700 by Kenya Bus Service vehicles compared to Sh1000 by the other vehicles plying the route.

Hawkers and small business owners took advantage of the massive crowd to reap from travellers.

Beatrice Wangui arrived at the station at 4.00 a.m. she managed to sell eight crates of bread by 10.00 a.m.