Kenya’s leading bus companies resume night schedules

KENYA’S TRANSPORT SECRETARY FINALLY YIELDS TO COURT RULINGS

(Posted 10th June 2014)

The largely seen as blatantly illegal night time drive ban for overland busses in Kenya is finally over, as several of the leading bus companies have now been cleared again for overnight schedules, connecting not only the Kenyan cities and upcountry towns with the capital Nairobi but also once again allow for the overnight trips from places like Kampala, Kigali, Bujumbura and Juba.

The past six months caused the bus companies some serious losses in terms of underutilizing their fleets while at the same time the launch of low cost carrier Jambojet, a Kenya Airways’ subsidiary, ate deeply into the passenger numbers as more and more travelers shifted to air transport, which, if booked early enough is only marginally more expensive than a bus but very much faster of course in reaching Mombasa, Kisumu or Eldoret.

Key players like Easy Coach had since the night travel ban introduced partnerships with leading insurers, providing automatic travel insurance for their passengers, once the tickets have been purchased, or added more intense cooperation with the Kenya Red Cross to be sure, should an accident happen, that first aid would be on the way as quickly as possible. It is understood from a source in Nairobi that besides Easy Coach were Modern Coach, Mash and at least 4 other companies given clearance to resume night travel, while compensation claims against the government are being mulled over by the bus companies as the so called directive was given from legal no-mans-land.

What remains to be seen now is how the bus companies will be able to claw back market share after many of their faithful travelers have switched to Jambojet over the past months, something only thought possible over the cost of the ticket plus the consideration of time gained when comparing the trip times of the Jambojet B737’s with the busses on the road. The bus companies have reportedly resumed night operations already and travelers from abroad, intent to using such overland transport, are advised to check with the operator of their choice to ascertain the new departure times. Visit www.easycoach.co.ke and google the websites of the other bus operators in Kenya.

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