Fares hike in Nyeri as passenger limit advisory kicks in

Some matatu operators in Nyeri have complied with the national government's order limiting the number of passengers carried at any given time over coronavirus. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Fares have increased in Nyeri as matatu operators comply with the national government's directive limiting the number of passengers to help avert the spread of coronavirus.

On Friday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said 14-seater matatus should carry eight passengers at a time, 25-seaters to carry 15, buses whose sitting capacity is 30 and above to have 60 per cent sitting capacity; the rule also applies to commuter trains.

On Saturday, fares from Nyeri to other destinations had increased by nearly double.

The cost from Nyeri to Nairobi rose from Sh300 to Sh600, while those travelling to Nanyuki paid about Sh350 instead of the usual Sh200.

Operators said the jump was inevitable because the cost of business is high. "This is a collective burden, so to make sure we do not shutdown the fares had to increase. The government needs to reduce fuel prices so that the burden does not fall on ordinary Kenyans," 2NK sacco chairman James Kahiro said.

But some operators plying local routes have disregarded the directive on passenger limit, a spot check by the Nation showed.