Fares to rise if County Hall sticks to its guns
Commuters could start paying higher fares if the stalemate between the county government and transport players is not resolved soon.
Matatu operators, however, said they were waiting to see if County Hall would honour its pledge and reduce the rates.
Nairobi Metropolitan PSV saccos Union secretary Godfrey Akuma said: “If they are going to be adamant, then we will have to consult our employers and decide whether to load the extra amount on to our customers.”
Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai said the National Transport and Safety Authority was arbitrating between the two sides but they had not been an agreement. On the issue of fare increment, Mr Kimutai said they would cross the bridge when they came to it.
Taxi drivers had mixed views. Some said they would review their charges if County Hall stuck to its guns. Others said charging extra would drive away customers.
Driver Gabriel Wainaina said: “For town service, for example, you start charging Sh400 instead of Sh300, people may just decide they don’t need the service,” said Gabriel Wainaina.
Mr Kimutai said that they expected Governor Evans Kidero to honour his pledge, adding it was he who had given the proposed reduced rates which the county later rejected. He said the Governor did not say how long the legal process that would lead to the varying of the rates would take.
“There’s a process. Even if you are going to waive, there’s a period of notice which is two weeks and a process to be followed before that waiver can be effected. If that is not done, then we’ll be violating the law,” said Dr Kidero on Wednesday.
Two days earlier, County Hall had issued a statement advising matatu saccos not to lobby the County Assembly which had passed the fees in the Finance Act 2013. But the Governor’s statement meant that they would consider lowering the fees.