Students stranded in Kitui as Matatus hike fare

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Travelers at Tala Bus park Tuesday. Most of them including learners were stranded after Matatu operators hiked fares. (Photo credit - Austine/Mauvoo)

Hundreds of students, parents and other travelers were for the better part of Tuesday stranded at Kitui main bus station after public transport operators doubled bus fares following the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The learners are rushing home after the Head of State on Sunday ordered the immediate closure of all schools by March 18th as a precautionary measure to curb the possible spread of the viral disease in Kenya.

This is after the Ministry of Health confirmed the first three positive cases of coronavirus which has triggered a global health crisis after killing thousands and leaving besides tens of thousands of new infections.

The learners and travelers headed to different destinations lamented that matatu operators are taking advantage of the looming health crisis to overcharge passengers and make a kill before a possible total lockdown.

Matatus heading to Machakos and Nairobi were charging between Sh. 700 and Sh. 800 from the normal Sh.400.

In Tala, Machakos county travelers more so students were stranded in various bus stations. The decision saw students heading home flock bus stations causing a hike in the fare double the normal amount.

Normally, Matatus operating between Nairobi and Kangundo road charge between 200 and 250 but the fare hiked today to 400. Commuters scrambled for matatus as others were left stranded.

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