Cashless fare system for Kenyan public transport

National Transport and Safety Authority Chairman Lee Kinyanjui has said that plans to roll out the cashless system to pay bus fare are on course. Lee Kinyanjui said the NTSA team was working at having one card which could be used on all routes since it is rejected some cards from different service providers.

Although the government plans to introduce the system 18 months ago stalled, some matatu saccos have teamed up to relaunch it.

Some Matatus Saccos have also teamed up to relaunch the system but Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai says a date is yet to be decided on when the scheme will be launched but it could be towards the end of the year or early 2017.Mr Kimutai, on the other hand, did not reveal the number of saccos that had agreed to the ‘Pamoja’ card deal, entered between the industry players and Diamond Trust Bank.

He added that the system was being tested and that once its efficiency had been confirmed, it would first be used in Nairobi before being introduced in other parts of the country.

There are about 80,000 matatus in Kenya, making more than Sh500 million every day. The government had hoped the cashless fare payment would help it collect billions of shillings in taxes and also reduce corruption on roads.

However, the system was opposed due to what the players termed as short timelines.There was also the issue of five per cent interest proposed by banks to be charged per transaction,a plan the Matatu owners termed as exploitative.

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