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 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.
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
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.
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.