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Matatu owners hike fare over high cost of fuel

Kenyans who use Public Service Vehicles (PSV) commonly known as matatus will have to dig deeper into their pockets from Wednesday, July 5, 2023, following a hike in fare prices.

According to Matatu Owners Association chairman Albert Karakacha, the tariff change was caused by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority’s (EPRA) increase in fuel on Friday, June 30.

The matatu boss said the hike in fares will protect the organization’s members who have invested heavily in the sector following the doubling of Value Added (VAT) from 8 per cent to 16 per cent.

“The sharp increase in fuel costs, combined with other operational expenses, such as an increase in the cost of spare parts and loan interest, among others, has forced us to reevaluate our pricing structure to ensure the continued sustainability of prices,” the Matatu Owners Association stated in a statement.

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The Association announced that the rates in Nairobi will rise by Ksh10 to 30, Ksh10 to 50 in Metropolis cities, Ksh30 to 70 in coastal regions, and Ksh20 for Nyanza and Rift Valley town services.

Public Service Bus.PHOTO/UNEP.

Long-distance travel prices will rise from Ksh100 to Ksh200.

As Kenyans continue to suffer in the tough economic times, the expected hiked prices will add to their bucket of struggles.

Despite a High Court ruling issued by Justice Mugure Thande delaying the implementation of the Finance Act, 2023, EPRA published new fuel prices on Friday, July 30, 2023.

Despite the tough measures the Matatu Owners Association now want the public to be patient with them as they sought alternate solutions to avoid having to go deeper into their pockets.

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To the government, the matatu owners urged the government to subsidize fuel services, in order to lift the cost burden from the public.

“We urge the government to subsidize fuel services for PSV operators in order to alleviate the burden on both matatu operators and passengers,” the association added.

Despite a Court order suspending the price of fuel, consumers continue to lament as most petrol stations hike the prices of the commodity.

Currently, super petrol retails at Ksh195.53 per litre in Nairobi, diesel costs Ksh179.67 and kerosene costs Ksh173.44 per litre.

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