By Ruth Mbula
Hundreds of passengers travelling for the Easter holidays were on Thursday night stranded as public service vehicles grappled to meet the high demand.
Many of the travellers to western Kenya were forced to wait for long hours outside various booking offices.
Ms Mary Moraa, who had planned to travel to Kisii, said most vehicles were fully-booked by the time she got to the booking office on Thursday afternoon.
“At Ena Coach booking office, I was told vehicles to Kisii could only be available on Saturday. I was forced to move from one station to another only to find space at Otange shuttle where the fares had been hiked,” said Ms Moraa.
Popular bus offices such as Transline and Smartline were crowded with passengers milling around waiting for vehicles that were not forthcoming.
Some bus companies have also increased their prices by more than Sh1,000, further hurting the pockets of the passengers.
“I usually pay Sh800 to travel to Kisii, but today I have been forced to pay Sh1,500. They said to board their bus, you must pay Sh1,300 while a shuttle is nothing less than Sh1,500. But I had to wait for the vehicle for more than six hours,” said Ms Moraa.
For PSV companies that had not raised their prices such as Ena Coach, all their vehicles had been fully booked for Friday with passengers advised to try their luck on Saturday.
At Machakos Country Bus stage, some travellers were forced to spend the night in the cold as they waited for vehicles they had already booked.
The transport crisis comes in the wake of increased fuel prices, adding more pain to Kenyans.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Sunday announced new prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene, which rose to hit Sh106.60, Sh102.13 and Sh102.22 respectively.
The monthly review saw the prices of both petrol and diesel go up by Sh5 while the cost of kerosene, which is mainly used by majority of poor households, went up by Sh2.76.