Public service vehicle operators (PSV) have begun reducing fares after being allowed to carry full capacity last month.
Statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) show that travelers on some routes pay up to 20% less because cars can now carry more passengers on a trip.
In its August inflation figures, KNBS found that travelers between Nairobi and Meru were paying 20 percent less than the average Sh800 in August compared to travelers paid Sh1,000 in July, leading to a drop in the lifting of restrictions imposed on the spread of covid19.
The restrictions reduced the number of passengers that three could carry by almost a third.
Fares between Bomas of Kenya and Nyayo Stadium were 16% lower at Sh50 to Sh60, according to KNBS.
This led to a 0.32 percent decline in consumer price index (CPI). The index is the third item in the CPI basket weighing 9.65 percent behind food and non-alcoholic beverages at 32.91 percent, and housing, water, electricity and electricity. 14.61 percent of gas.]
“Transportation prices dropped by 0.32 percent mainly due to lower fare for public service buses in rural and urban areas,” KNBS said. “This is due to the return of the full capacity of public service vehicles in August 2021.”
The price reduction would have been higher had it not been for the high and sustainable fuel prices seen in the previous year, with diesel currently selling at 107.66 shillings per liter in Nairobi. PSV consumes a lot of diesel.
Large petrol, mainly used by private motorists and also counted in the transport index, sells at a maximum of 127.14 shillings per liter.
Oil prices had plummeted in the middle of last year after crude prices plummeted due to low global demand due to travel restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Diesel prices were reduced to Shs 74.57 per liter in Nairobi in July last year, the lowest price since February 2016.
This did not result in lower prices because of the three-capacity capacity reduction. Since last year, PSVs have been operating at 60 percent of their capacity until August this year, when the Department of Transport removed the restrictions.
“In some ways, fares have dropped dramatically,” said Edwin Mukabana, president of the Bus Operators Association, but added that there were operators who had not yet cut costs.
He said the government should speed up coverage to protect Kenyans and bring the economy back on its feet, while looking at PSV teams as front-line workers due to the important role they play and their level of job exposure.
While operating to its full potential, the industry, like other sectors of the economy, still faces other barriers such as nighttime orders.
“We urge the government to completely open up the economy. Unlike last year, when we started fighting the epidemic, we now have the experience of working safely, ”Mukabana said, adding that the resumption of normal activities in areas such as schools did not lead to a significant increase in Covid-. 19 pollution.
“Since VSPs started operating at full capacity, we have not seen an increase in the number of new infections,” he said.
“We have also seen the education sector reopened and there were no large numbers of new Covid-19 cases.”
Despite the resumption of operations at full capacity, Covid-19 has dealt a major blow to the three-tier industry which cannot be recovered.
This includes changes in people’s working habits, and some companies are now taking a hybrid approach, with some employees working from home.
Travelers are also increasingly cautious, with few who can afford to take taxis instead of climbing equipment.
“The capacity set is still not being used at all as some people are still working from home,” said Mukabana.
“The curfew is still in place and there is also increased preference for taxi seizure applications, usually, as Covid-19 is still with us.”