In Summary
  • She said traders usually buy their wares during the day and ferry them at night.
  • Parents travelling with their children upcountry ahead of school opening were also affected.
  • Food vendors at the bus station lamented that the night travel ban would impact heavily on their profits.

The decision to ban all long-distance night travel by public service vehicles by the National Transport and Safety Authority has caught most bus services and travellers by surprise.

There was confusion at the Machakos Country Bus Station after the ban with some bus services to the west of Kenya forced to suspend their travel for Sunday evening.

Hundreds of passengers who had booked buses hoping to travel on Sunday night were stranded at the bus station after the ban by NTSA took immediate effect.

Some bus services were even forced to refund travellers’ money.

“If the passengers are willing to wait until tomorrow morning, we will allow them to sleep in the bus. The ban has to be complied with,” said Juma Masinde, a clerk for Promise Bus Services.

NTSA imposed the ban after a bus accident at Migaa on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway claimed 36 lives Sunday morning.

TRANSPORTING WARES

The majority of those affected were business people transporting their wares to Western Kenya.

“We had bought our merchandise ready to transport it to Kakamega tonight. Waiting until tomorrow (Monday) will greatly will inconvenience us and our customers,” said a businesswoman going by the name Njeri who supplies motorcycle and power saw spare parts to shops in Kakamega and Bungoma towns. 

The merchants, she said, usually buy their wares during the day and ferry them at night for the market day the following day.

“With this ban, we will be forced to set a day for purchasing the items and another day for transporting them to the destination. We will set aside a third day to supply them to the shops,” Njeri said, adding that the traders will incur other unnecessary costs.

Parents taking their children to the west of Kenya for the new school term next week were also inconvenienced by the ban.

EXTRA COST

A nervous passenger who spoke to the Nation said he was not sure whether the journey to Nakuru would take off after all.

“It’s already 4pm and the bus is not full yet. I had planned to travel to Nakuru and back to Nairobi on Sunday night. I will have to incur an extra cost for accommodation, which I had not planned for,” he said. 

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