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Transport costs, fares are set for liftoff on the backdrop of last week’s hike in fuel prices.

At the end of last week, stakeholders in the matatu industry represented by Matatu Owners Association (MOA) held a forum in Nairobi with its conclusion pointing to higher fares, to be announced soon.

The pricing changes are expected to affect both local and long-distance routes.

“Anytime from now, we will be increasing bus fares across the country. It is not our wish to do so but we see this as an avenue to pressure the government to respond to higher fuel costs and a greater cost of living,” James Omwa- the Secretary to MOA in Kisumu County said.

On Monday, rides hailing firm Bolt indicated it has lifted its fares by four per cent in a move meant at cushioning drivers on the platform from the costlier fuel.

“We have reviewed our pricing to reflect the current market realities. We are confident that this increase in fares will cushion against the 3.9% rise in fuel cost, and therefore contribute to sustained strong earnings on the platform,” noted Bolt Eastern Africa regional manager Kenneth Micah.

The higher fuel costs are not only expected to lift bus fares and cab rates but also weigh hard on inflation.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), transport costs have a weighting of 9.7 per cent on consumer prices.

This means that Kenyans spend nearly Ksh.10 on transportation for every Ksh.100 in gross spending with the category ranking third behind only food and energy purchases.

Year over year, transport costs were up by 4.45 per cent in February 2021 but were only up marginally by 0.04 per cent from January.

This from a hold in fuel costs which had been unchanged since October last year.

The cost of petrol and diesel rose by 3.9 per cent on March 14 as the price stabilization mechanism failed to hold against rising global crude costs.

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