Fares Hiked as Buses Are Fully Booked Ahead of Christmas

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    Motorists pictured along Waiyaki Way on Thursday, October 17, 2019
  • Long-distance buses have hiked fares as passengers rush to book seats one month to Christmas and New Year (2022) holidays. 

    The most affected buses as those plying the Western Kenya routes, with companies noting an influx right after the curfew was lifted by President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

    Online portals for buses heading to Nyanza, Busia, and Kakamega counties indicated that a majority were booked up to December 24, the Christmas Day eve. Booking sites such as Buspass and Tiketi.com also indicated the same. 

    These buses, Guardian, Ena Coach, Western Express, and Easy Coach, started recording a higher rate of bookings once the night travel ban was lifted during the Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20. 

    Motorists stuck in traffic in Nairobi in October 2021

    Fares rose from the current Ksh1,000 to Ksh1,200 but this can be seen as a reprieve for travelers who used to pay up to Ksh1,600 before the curfew was vacated. 

    However, prices are expected to even triple to between Ksh2,500 and Ksh3,000 for later comers. 

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Matatu Owners Association official and traffic educator, Branden Marshall, detailed that matatu saccos will complement long-distance buses due to the high demand witnessed in December. 

    “Expect to see our matatus on the roads doing those long distances too as buses are fully booked. Remember schools are also closing around Christmas eve thus Kenyans travelling upcountry do not want to take chances. Fares will always hike during such seasons. 

    “Therefore, expect fares to double or even triple,” Marshall explained. 

    Saccos wishing to cover long distances ought to apply for a temporary Road Service Licence (RSL) issued by Transport Licensing Board. 

    “Without that temporary licence, matatus risk being seized by the cops. Remember the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) kicked off a nationwide crackdown. 

    “Saccos apply for these licences and provide them to matatus registered under them. But we have certain saccos who have route extensions to certain areas outside. This includes Metro Trans and Super Metro,” Marshall added. 

    Buses and matatus pick up upcountry travellers at Nairobi's famous Machakos country bus station
    Long distance buses at Nairobi's Machakos Country Bus Station in a photo dated November 2017