Kenya’s Matatu Bus System to Go Cashless

Public transport in Kenya is going cashless as buses switch to new electronic fare payments. From now on, the country’s famously chaotic matatus, the minivans and buses that are used widely by Kenyan commuters, have been instructed to change to the new system.

But a Tuesday deadline for all buses to implement the cashless payments, or face fines, has been relaxed. The sector’s regulator has said that adoption will be gradual.

At least three companies are already using the new fare system, which operates in a similar way to London’s Oyster card, with passengers pre-loading plastic cards with money and swiping them across a reader on board.

Customers can top up at agents, or by using mobile phone money transfer service M-pesa.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), responsible for implementing the policy, hopes it will help to tackle corruption and increase government tax revenue. Matatu operators have also seen benefits.

George Wanyama, manager of a company piloting the cashless system, told BBC Africa that revenue had gone up 30% in the two months since it was launched.

But operators had called for an extension of the deadline for implementation, citing fears of a police crackdown on non-compliant vehicles.

Continue reading on the BBC website

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