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Cofek demands reduced commuter fares

A consumer lobby group has demanded immediate reduction of commuter fares following a fall in oil prices.

The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) said with the recent price drop  announced by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) makes it mandatory for PSV operators to follow suit and reduce fares by between 5 and 10 per cent.

“In our cost-assessment, fuel accounts for more than 40 per cent of operational costs. With an average 10 per cent reduction in fuel pricing, we agree with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure that fares must come down immediately,” said Cofek Secretary-General Stephen Mutoro in a statement on Sunday.

FUEL PRICES

He argued that after evaluation of cost-recovery, taxes, insurance and consumables such as tyres and lubricants, a reduction of a minimum 5 per cent for in-county and 10 per cent reduction for inter-county commuting was mandatory.

Cofek disagreed with PSV operators who have argued that reduction in fares was not possible despite drop in fuel prices as PSV’s operational expenses have gone up.

Mr Mutoro said Cofek had sought a meeting with the Ministry of Transport, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) and the Matatu Owners Association (MOA) to discuss the possible reduction of commuter fares.

“In the meantime, we urge police to ensure that all PSV’s clearly display applicable maximum peak and off-peak fares,” said Mr Mutoro.