The National Youth Service (NYS) has announced that passengers commuting in the buses that they deployed in Nairobi this week will now only pay Sh20 per trip.
The move comes despite protests from matatu operators who have vowed to frustrate NYS’s efforts until it fails.
When NYS announced on Thursday that it will introduce the buses to selected routes, the fare for every trip was initially set at Sh50.
But NYS Director General Richard Ndubai now says the decision to lower the fares was arrived at following a plea from members of the public.
“Following further plea from wananchi, commuters will pay a flat rate of Sh20 on NYS buses starting Saturday,” NYS said on its official Twitter handle.
On Thursday, NYS announced the deployment of 27 commuter buses in selected routes to ease commuter crisis in Nairobi during the current rainy season.
Some of the routes that the NYS buses will ply include Kibera, Githurai, Mwiki, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Dandora, Kariobangi and Kawangware.
However, Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai and Matatu Welfare Association chairman, Dickson Mbugua, have blamed NYS for ruining their business through unfair competition.
“We have to question their intention. We don’t fear competition but we perceive such a move as a deliberate action by the government to spoil our business,” Kimutai said.
The chairman also noted that NYS must make an application to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) on routes to cover as part of compliance.
“The NTSA announced that it had stopped enrolling new players in the business so what criteria did the NYS use to get into the business?” he posed.