Easy Coach has slashed the fares on 22 of 35 routes that it charters in Western Kenya amid reduced demand owing to the economic effects of Covid-19.
The Bus firm has cut rates by up to Ksh. 200 on routes such as Kisumu, Kakamega, Siaya, Bungoma and Busia among other urban establishments in the region.
According to the firm, the move- which comes two months after rivals Mololine and ENA Coach upped fares in the region- is aimed at maintaining and improving the number of customers plying the Western Kenya routes via the bus firm.
Mololine and ENA Coach raised fares on the route to safeguard their earnings after the State directed public service providers to ferry fewer passengers per trip in line with social distancing practices implemented to curb the spreading of Covid-19.
“The number of passengers traveling up-country at the moment has slightly gone down due to the hard economic situation posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We had to slash the fares to reduce the burden on long-distance travel for our customers. We hope the situation will improve in the near future,” Easy Coach managing director Azym Dossa said in a statement.
To this effect, customers traveling to Kisumu will pay Ksh. 1,650 down from the Ksh. 1,800 the bus service was charging when it resumed operations in July while those traveling to Eldoret will part with Ksh. 1,550 for a ticket down from Ksh. 1,750.
The firm has however maintained flat rates on the remaining 13 stops on the Western Kenya route including Nakuru, Narok, Mbita, Kendubay, and Awendo.
Passengers traveling to Keroka, Homabay, Oyugis, and Narok will pay Ksh.1,400, Ksh.1,500 Ksh.1,450 and Ksh.800 respectively when traveling to the destinations from the capital.
“For demographic reasons, South Nyanza fares per kilometre have been on the lower side by far. So further adjustments demand not necessary,” Mr. Dossa.
Following the first recorded case of Covid-19 in March, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime implemented restrictions such as reducing working hours and banning inter-county travel to curb the spreading of the virus. The restrictions negatively affected Kenya’s Transport Industry owing to low demand from travelers.
In July however, President Kenyatta strategically started lifting the restrictions that had stunted the country’s travel industry, paving the way for the recommencement of PSV operations. The PSV operators however have to adhere to strict anti-corona health regulations that include ferrying fewer passengers. Operators seeking entry into Nairobi, Mombasa, and Mandera are similarly required to obtain special travel permits to access the counties which have been identified as Covid-19 hotspots.
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