Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Matatu mode of transport is one of the main means of paratransit in Kenya that has grown in numbers over the past years. Despite the growth, a significant proportion of the low-income population rely on non-motorised transport for their trips. This paper interrogates the extent to which matatu mode of transport is catering to the mobility demands of the low income industrial workers and the factors that influence matatu use among them.
The paper is based on an exploratory survey and case studies of industrial workers in Sameer Park Export Processing Zone (EPZ). The findings demonstrate that most industrial workers do not regularly use matatus for their work trips. Matatu use is determined by the fares charged, distance from residential area to the work place and the nature of employment. Industrial workers who cannot afford to use matatus regularly for their work trips are forced to switch between non-motorised transport and matatus. Residing in informal settlements close to work destinations becomes a coping strategy against the high paratransit fares. The study recommends that newly formed matatu industry institutions i.e. Transport Companies and SACCOs should play a significant role in controlling arbitrary fare increase by operators.
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