Affordable Options Kenyans Use to Beat Hiked Fares During Christmas

  • With the festive season a few weeks away, passengers are fond of rushing to various stages to beat the last-minute rush of travelling upcountry. 

    During the season, fares are usually hiked, with bus firms capitalising on the opportunity to increase their profit base. 

    The most affected buses include those plying the Western and Coast regions routes. 

    In early December 2022, Western Kenya-bound buses such as Easy Coach increased their fares from Ksh1,800 to Ksh2,000. 

    A collage of a vehicle at a filling station adn passengers boarding a matatu in Nairoboi..jpg

    A collage of a vehicle at a filling station and passengers boarding a matatu in Nairobi.


    In other areas, such as the Coast region, fares tripled from Ksh1,200 to Ksh3,000- with passengers bearing the brunt of the tough economic times. 

    Despite the hiked prices, several bus stages were fully booked, with activities expected to increase in the coming days. 

    Notwithstanding the prices, Kenyans have also devised unique alternatives to beating the hiked fares during the festive season. 

    Car Pooling

    This is the art of sharing car journeys so that more than one person heading to a similar location can travel in the same vehicle. 

    For motorists seeking to share the cost of fueling the car, they can opt to find a few friends heading to the same location and split the cost. 

    For instance, a journey requiring Ksh5,000 for five people can easily split the cost at Ksh1,000 each. 

    Late Night Travel

    Aside from beating traffic, Kenyans have become accustomed to late-night travel instead of daytime travel.

    20201021-BOXRAFT-Matatu Bus Stop Sign at GPO Stage, Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019

    20201021-BOXRAFT-Matatu Bus Stop Sign at GPO Stage, Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019


    In particular, coaches and bus firms have capitalised on this and offered incentives such as discounted prices for passengers travelling at night.

    Tours and travel companies have also cashed in on this and offered mega deals for night travels to various tourist destinations across the country.

    Super Metro

    Kenyans also utilise matatu Saccos within the Central Business District (CBD) which has been granted long-distance permits to travel long distances. 

    For instance, passengers can make online reservations for Super Metro Executive Coach Limited. In a previous post on their social handles, the journey from Nairobi to Kakamega went for Ksh1,200. 

    The Metro coach buses only operate at night and are yet to resume day trips. 

    Private Car Hire

    Days to the festive period, several motorists are usually stranded as most buses are fully booked en route to various destinations.

    This, however, does not deter a section of Kenyans who resort to using private vehicles such as seven-seater minivans, Noah, which were granted permits for long-distance travel.

Jay Ndungu

Jay is a computer scientist and journalist with a passion for the intersection of technology and society. He has a background in computer science, developing a deep understanding of the technical aspects of the industry, including programming languages and software development methodologies. Currently, He writes for Nairobi Times, covering a wide range of topics including technology, politics, sports, and entertainment. With his unique combination of technical knowledge and journalistic experience, Jay brings a unique perspective to the stories he covers, able to explain complex technical concepts in an easy-to-understand manner. His work is dedicated to bridge the gap between technology and society, and to make people more aware of the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

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