Boom for bus companies as more travel upcountry

Commuters lining up at the Mwembe Tayari bus terminus in the past PHOTO COURTESY

Mombasa,KENYA:Bus companies in Mombasa have experienced a boom in business as the region experiences a travel rush.

A spot check by Baraka FM on Wednesday at the Mwembe Tayari area where ticketing offices for most buses companies are located, revealed more people booking tickets to various destinations across the country

Usain Wandabwa a Manager at the Spanish bus company told Baraka FM that most of their buses had been booked till Saturday.

“As from last week business has been booming especially Mombasa-Nairobi and Mombasa -Kisumu,” Wandabwa said.

Earlier, bus companies had  been adversely affected by the  entry of the SGR into the market .

However, most of the companies told Baraka FM that business had been back to almost normal over the past week.

Most commuters on the other hand have had to book early so as to be assured of getting a seat.

Lynn Nekesa who was spoke to Baraka FM said she had been to 5 bus companies but she could not get a ticket for Friday.

“I think I will have to postpone my trip to Saturday I cannot get one and the fares are higher than they were a few weeks ago,” a disappointed Lynn told Baraka FM.

However, Wandabwa denied that they had hiked the fares.

“The previous fares were to woo commuters as competition was a bit stiff from the SGR train. Now we are back to our normal charges which are  sh 1400 for the normal seat and  sh1600 for the VIP seat to Nairobi,” Wandabwa added.

With a surge in number of people travelling to their home county’s over fears of post election violence, Lynn said her decision to travel was not influenced by uncertainty over the security situation during and after the elections.

“I  am a registered voter in Busia so I am just travelling to exercise my democratic right,” Lynn added.

Security organs have howver assured coast residents of security before, during and after the polls.

On Tuesday the director at the Kenya community support centre  KECOSCE Phylis Muema however blamed the increase in the number of people fleeing the region, on laxity on the part of the NCIC saying  the commission had failed in  its mandate which is to  integrate Kenyans from all walks of life.

“Why would someone doubt his or her safety when we have an commission mandated with promotion of integration and cohesion? Isn’t that a sign that someone has failed Kenyans?”  Muema posed.

The increase in the number of people travelling upcountry comes a few weeks after hate leaflets emerged in several parts of Mombasa warning several communities to vacate the area.

Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa told reporters a few weeks ago that several people had been arrested in connection with circulation of the hate leaflets, warning those who were behind the circulation that the long arm of the law would catch up with them.