Kenya was supposed to implement the cashless fare system on July 1 however, the Matatu Welfare Association has asked the Kenyan government to give them more time to implement the service, citing lack of awareness in the general public.
According to a report by the Daily Nation, the matatu operators yesterday asked the government to extend the July 1 deadline for four months so as they can teach the public where to get the cards.
“We are not opposed to the initiative as it was our brainchild, but we need time to create necessary awareness so that we do not throw the industry into chaos,” the association’s chairman Dickson Mbugua told the Nation.
He also said more time is needed into the cost of the systems which he told the paper range from KES 14,000 to KES30,000. Mbugua also said most of the matatus were ripped off during acquisition of digital speed governors and they needed time to repay their loans also adding that the cashless fare system’s efficiency and effectiveness has not been tested and authorised by the Central Bank of Kenya.
“Sector players and the public are not ready for the alternative fare collection method. Education and awareness are evidently wanting. We must get it right the first time,” he told the paper.
Last year, the National Transport Authority had stated that starting July 1 2014, all public service vehicles will be required to use electronic payment system.
“Every operator of licensed public service vehicles shall ensure that passengers are issued with tickets or receipts for fare paid and, as from the 1st July, 2014, it operates on a cashless fare system,” read the regulations in part.
The cashless fare options in the market include Google’s BebaPay, Kenya Bus Service’s Abiria Card and Matatu Owners Association’s 1963 jinice. Another player, Safaricom’s Lipa na M-PESA and M-Safari, a Near Field Communication technology for payments are likely to be part of the services.