Travellers using Public Service Vehicles have decried the upward review of fares amidst the Covid-19
pandemic but expressed happiness with the quality of services provided by the transport operators.
PSV vehicles plying Meru-Nanyuki Highway are charging double fares, citing the excuse that the Ministry
of Health protocols demand that they carry less passengers unlike before.
For instance, 14-seater matatus carry eight passengers who are charged Sh.400 as opposed to before March
when the fare between the two towns was Sh.250.
Some travelers told KNA that the move is a good one even if they are forced to dig deeper into their
pockets to travel.
They stated that limiting the carrying capacity of the vehicles not only saves them from the risks of
contracting the corona virus but also guarantees them comfort while on transit.
Some of the travelers along the route said the seating arrangement provides them with ample space to
even carry luggage without interfering with the comfort of their fellow passengers.
The middle seat is always empty which provides them space for carrying their personal effects while on transit unlike before when they would bundle them under the chairs hence affecting the comfort of other travelers.
“I had been fearing for fragile commodities when using public transport but for now it isn’t risky anymore. Travelling with a child is also easier since the middle seat is always free,” said Irene Karambu.
Karambu also mentioned that the vehicles’ carrying capacity is kept to the minimal unlike before when vehicles had trouble moving while at full capacity.
She added that passengers with huge body sizes no longer pose a challenge to other travellers unlike before when they would compete for the available space.
Passengers want the current travel protocols in PSVs upheld even after the Covid-19 pandemic is contained, arguing that traveling in the matatus has been so challenging before.
They said the move would even attract more people to respect the matatu industry and opt to use as a key means of transport.
“I used to dislike using public transport but with the current guidelines I feel very comfortable using it,” said a passenger who sought anonymity.
Meanwhile, the transport operators lamented over the low number of travellers forcing some of them to spend more time at bus termini waiting for passengers.
By Richard Muhambe