Matatu Owners Association Coast branch has stood its ground saying that it will not drop fares even if the government scrapes off the 16 percent fuel levy VAT.
Addressing the press in Mombasa Thursday, the MOA representatives from all the six Coastal counties said that the hiking was as a result of higher operational charges in the public transport sector.
Led by Mombasa MOA Branch Chair Said Mbaruk, they said that they have been counting loses since 2014 though they have been lenient to their passengers.
Mbaruk said that the new fares effective Thursday the 6th of September were not pushed by the VAT increment on fuel imported into the country but because of the high Coast of operational expenditures.
He said that the MOA Coast region chapter leaders after deliberations they resolved to increase the fares.
“We apologise to out esteemed passengers for the increment but they will soon understand that we are in business and we are not aiming at making loses,” he added.
His sentiments were fully backed by the MOA Chair in charge of Lamu, Tana River and Kilifi counties Mohammed Aboud Said who said that the new fares had nothing to do with the treasury and Kenya Revenue Authority move of imposing a 16 percent fuel levy from 1st September.
Aboud said that the sector has been for the last four years performed dismally following high Coast of spare parts and other motor vehicle assortments.
“In fact we are now deliberating on how we can set specific and fixed fares for pick hours,” he added.
He said that other major cities including Nairobi operators have implemented specific rates for pick and off pick hours and it was time the Coast region follow suit.
Aboud appealed to Coastal residents to work with the association so that the transport sector is revived.
On his part, the National vice Chair Matatu Owners Association Salim Bates revealed that the new fares have been shared with the relevant transport stakeholders including the Coast region traffic department.
“It is not our fault that we are hiking fares but the circumstances under which we operate have forced us to,” he added.
He however appealed to locals to report to the traffic police in case matatu operators exceed the specified fares.
In the new rates, matatus and buses operating from Mombasa to Malindi will charge Ksh. 450, Likoni-Kwale bound public services vehicles Ksh. 130, Mombasa- Kaloleni route Ksh- 170, while those from Ferry and docks to Bamburi or Magongo in Changamwe will charge Ksh. 70.