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Matatus to pay more for city parking as KRA fee relief ends

Matatus along Accra Road, Nairobi.
Public service vehicles (PSVs) plying their trade in Nairobi will from Saturday pay between Sh1,630 and Sh5,000 more for seasonal parking, following the easing of Covid-19 protocols to allow them to carry passengers at full capacity.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has ended the discounted seasonal parking fees it had been charging the PSVs due to the effects of the pandemic.
Matatus in the city have been paying discounted rates after they the order to halve their carrying capacity as part of health measures to contain the spread of the virus.
For the ticket, 14-seater PSVs have been paying Sh2,000, Sh3,650 for 42-seater minibuses, and Sh5,000 for the 62-seater buses.
“Notice is hereby given to all Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) that following the resumption of full carrying capacity on August 16, 2021, the seasonal parking charges shall be adjusted to full carrying capacity for all PSVs with effect from September 25, 2021,” KRA said in a statement on Wednesday.
In the reviewed rates, 14-seater matatus will pay seasonal parking fee of Sh5,000 between the 6th and 24th of every month. But, if paid between the 25th and 5th, the fee will be Sh3,650.
This means that the matatu operators will pay up between Sh1,650 and Sh3,000 more, depending on when they make the payment.
PSVs of up to 42 seats will pay Sh5,280 a month between 25th and 5th, and Sh8,000 when paid between 6th and 24th. The increase is Sh1,630 and Sh4,350, respectively.
Buses with up to 62 seats will pay Sh7,200 between 25th and 5th of every month, and Sh10,000 when paid between 6th and 24th. The increase for bus operators is Sh2,200 and Sh5,000, respectively.
According to revenue data by City Hall, the county collects at least Sh100.6 million every month from seasonal parking fees with 1,024 slots available for the PSVs.
The Nairobi City County Government appointed KRA as the principal agent for overall revenue collection on March 6, 2020.
Reacting to the reinstatement of the pre-pandemic seasonal parking fees, Matatu Owners Association chairperson Simon Kimutai said it was a big blow to motorists who now have to also contend with paying more for fuel.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) last week increased the price of a litre of petrol in Nairobi to Sh134.72, an all-time high, while diesel rose to Sh115.6, the highest since September 2018 when it sold for Sh115.73.
“For long, I have advocated for counties to exclude PSVs from paying parking fees because we bring a lot of business to them. If you are going to charge us more for fuel and parking, the cost will ultimately be passed on to commuters,” Mr Kimutai said.
“But if commuters find it expensive to travel, will they travel to town as often as they would otherwise? In any case, [matatu] saccos should be paying for actual space occupied and not the carrying capacity because the vehicles are always moving and not idly parked in a spot,” he added. –