Public Service Vehicle owners took advantage of Christmas to hike bus fare especially for those passengers who were travelling to the rural areas.
Most passengers had to cancel their plans to travel to the rural areas during this Christmas as the bus fares were beyond reach to majority of them.
During this festive season, many city dwellers often travel to their rural homes to celebrate with their families and due to their large numbers, fares have always skyrocketed.
Buses that had been charging 800 shillings from Nairobi to Kisumu for instance, increased their charges by 100 percent to 1600 shillings.
The same buses that were charging 800 shillings from Nairobi to Kakamega raised their charges by more than 100 percent to 1800.
Most shuttles in the city were charging between 1600 shillings to 1800 shillings from Nairobi to Kisumu and from Nairobi to Kakamega.
The fares are expected to remain high until the end of the festive season at around 10th January 2016 after almost everybody who had travelled to the village is back.
During this year, the prices of fuel have traded lower than any other year and it was expected that PSV owners would follow suit in lowering bus fares but that has remained an illusion that would never be realized.
For the better part of the year, a liter of super petrol has traded below 100 shillings with diesel, which is widely consumed by the automobiles trading below 90 shillings but passengers have continued paying through the nose for their movement.
“When the government lowers the prices of petrol and diesel, it does not benefit the common man. It only benefits those who own vehicles but the wanjiku has little to benefit from it. The only thing that is beneficial maybe is the lowering of the prices of paraffin,” said the agitated Fridous Munialo who was stranded at Machakos Country Bus Station due to the hiked fare.
“It is just a tradition that bus fares must be high. We just cannot help. We cannot just lower the fare when everybody else is reaping big from the season,” said one attendant at NRB Western Shuttle who asked for anonymity.
Article by Juma Fred.