Matatu operators face Ksh. 20,000 fine for not using MPESA

Boniface Mungania(left)Head of M-PESA product Management at Safaricom PLC
Boniface Mungania(left)Head of M-PESA product Management at Safaricom PLC

Public transport operators risk a Sh20,000 fine for failing to provide passengers with contact-free fare payment options such as M-Pesa.

According to the ministry, the rules will be enforced using the Public Health (Covid-19 Operation of Public Service Vehicles) rules 2020.

The use of digital fare payments will narrow down on cash handling to help contain the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected 34,057 people in Kenya and killed 574.

“A system for contact-free payment shall be put in place by the operator. A person who commits an offense under these rules shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh20, 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both.”

The rules also offers the national and county government powers to ground all vehicles belonging to a particular Sacco in breach of the Covid-19 rules.

Previously, this right was granted to the transport regulator–the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

The use of contact-free fare payment methods is aimed at limiting physical contact between the passengers and the crew.

The rule comes in the middle of NTSA tendering for a digital fare collection system that will also have the technical capability to contact trace passengers.