Saturday, September 19, 2020
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Commuters hail comfortable travel despite increased fares

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

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