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PSV operators decry reduced number of passengers travelling upcountry for Christmas

Matatu operators in Nairobi have expressed concern following what they say is a significant drop in passengers travelling upcountry during this festive season.

A spot check by Nairobi News at the Machakos Bus Terminus and other passenger picking spots located in Nairobi also indicates that the mad rush to travel upcountry has not yet gripped the City.

At the same time, the transports service provider is projecting an estimated 35 percent drop in customers.

“I am supposed to be doing about 3 return trips to Nyeri right now, but I can only manage one or at most two, and yet it is only a day to Christmas, it seems people don’t have the money,” a 14 seater matatu driver plying the Nairobi-Nyeri route said.

LOWER RATES

Further spot checks at booking offices for buses plying the Western Kenya route reveals there is still space for those travelling to Kakamega, Kisumu, Migori, Mumias, Bungoma, Busia and Eldoret on Easy Coach, Crown Buses and Shuttles.

Meanwhile, eight and ten seater private vehicles are also providing services to upcountry destinations, at slightly lower rates, with the owners said to be keen on raking huge profits before the end of the festive season.

This reduced has also directly affected the fares, with only slight increases noted in comparison to the almost 150 percent fare hikes witnessed in past years.

Passengers travelling to Kisumu and Kakamega with Easy Coach and Crown Bus services are parting with Sh 1600 and Sh 1800 as fares respectively, which is an increase of Sh 300.

Those heading to Mombasa aboard Coast Bus and Mash buses are paying an estimated Sh 350 more, with the current costs ranging between Sh 1800 and Sh 2400 depending on the type of bus.