New plan to have Sonko set matatu fares

Governor Sonko to dictate bus fares

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko interacts with matatu operators during a past inspection (Twitter)

New proposed amendments to the Transport Bill in Nairobi is set to give Governor Mike Sonko the power to dictate fares in the county from City Hall.

The new bill will see matatu operators formally inform the county administration of their fare charges before the charges are approved.

Any operator seeking to make changes to their fare structure will have to submit a proposal to the county for approval, 30 days before the expected effective date.

"All charges made or demanded by any such person or transport service provider for the transportation of the passengers or property…shall be just and reasonable and not more than allowed by law or order of the county executive in charge of transport.

"No change shall be made in any rate, fare or charge which shall have been filed and published by a county transport service provider in compliance with this Act except after 30-day notice to the director," the amendments read in part.

Sh500,000 Fine

Operators who violate the law will be required to pay a Sh500,000 or serve a six-month jail term.

The amendments were proposed following the spike in fares in 2018 after President Uhuru Kenyatta introduced the 8% VAT deduction on petroleum products.

Some of the fares that have remained high include those for communters from Nairobi to Nakuru, who pay Sh500, up from Sh300 and Nairobi to Eldoret which was Sh800 but is now Sh1,000.

Governor Sonko was also behind a major matatu ban in November 2018 that saw PSVs locked out of the CBD.

Matatu termini were taken out of the CBD causing commuters to trek long distances to access the vehicle. The ban was soon lifted after public outcry.

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