Route 45 is the new king!

28 02 2014

Yes I called it!

Gone are the days when Buru and Eastleigh used to show us how its done, the students have now become the teachers y’all! Route 45 has taken ova Nairobi.

Remember when Githurai buses were raggedly old Maranatha’s that you wouldn’t take because you were scared they would give you tetanus? Well now we have Rockers, and Unified, and those babies are HOOOTTTT!

Then there’s the KU side of 45, *sigh* why don’t I just show you?

Image

 

Frankly speaking, this mat does nothing for me, this design is too generic. However, the crew is descent, Munga is a VERY fast driver, that guy can get you to work in 20 minutes flat! Everything else is just…bleh

Image

This is the other Sweet Heaven (Who comes up with these names?) I like this design to death! So creative!

Image

This right here, ladies and gentlemen, is my FAVOURITE KU mat in the world! I am a bonafide stan for this baby! The design is perfect, it is so spacious on the inside and the sound? Amazeballs!

Image

And of course the newest baby on the block, Venture. I cant comment much on it coz I’ve never sampled it, but from outside, it looks pretty hot.

Have your say, I know you agree with me.

All pics courtesy of Matwana Facebook page. Head on there for more Matatu news, its an awesome group.





HAPPY NEW ERA!

28 02 2014

I know its been a while fellow Matheads, the industry went down, then came up again aaaannnnd…… here we are.

I’m glad someone up there decided to just let Mats be, its part of our Kenyan culture is it not? Anyhoo, sorry I abandoned the blog, lets see if I can do something about it now that our roads are colorful again.

 

Cheers

 





Dustbin in Matatus??? Thats ridiculous!

18 02 2011

I know I speak for a lot of Kenyans when I say the idea of fixing a dustbin in a matatu, especially a 14 seater is pure fuckery.

How in God’s name do we travel in a matatu with a dustbin in it???? Isn’t that in itself air pollution? So what next, dustbins in Taxis?

If the government does not want people to invest in the matatu industry, they should just go ahead and say so. But this stupidity has got to end.

That is all.





An Open Letter To Hon. Amos Kimunya

6 12 2010

Dear Sir,

RE: 14 SEATER MATATUS AND THE MATATU CULTURE

I hope that this mail finds you in good health.

I admire your previous record as the Minister of Finance. However, your recent announcement that you will be phasing out 14 seater matatus as from 1ST January 2011 is inconsiderate and harsh considering the many Kenyans who use them as their daily mode of transport.

I agree with you the need to decongest the city but to me phasing out the 14 seaters won’t be a solution since from my observation it’s the numerous personal vehicles that cause this congestion! If you doubt this it will be my pleasure to take you out for a fact finding mission. To prove to you that it’s indeed true, why is it that during the day there are usually no traffic snarl ups and yet these matatus operate the whole day? It’s these personal vehicles that cause all the congestion!

Secondly, the 14 seaters take far much less time to fill up as compared to the 29, 33 and 51 seaters which take long to fill up. For example, when going to my home village in Taita, it takes an average of 2 hours for a 14 seater matatu to fill up from the Voi bus terminus so how long will a 51 seater take to fill up?  Also, it’s worth noting that many individuals going upcountry prefer shuttles to the big buses since they take a shorter time to fill up and this is evidenced by the large and growing fleets of the shuttle services companies such as the Rift Valley Shuttle. Transline Classic, Namanga Border Shuttle and others.

In my opinion, it would have been better for you to stop the licensing of new 14 seaters into the CBD rather than the entire country as a whole.

Thirdly, it’s easier to operate a 14 seater as compared to a 29, 33 and 51 seater due to the various costs involved. To start with, it’s cheaper to buy a 14 seater, the costs such as insurance,TLB license fees and city council parking fees are lower as compared to those of 29, 33 and 51 seaters!

Starting with a 14 seater is usually the first step of any investor and therefore removing this step is like discouraging the small entrepreneurs from investing and thus having a negative impact on the economy. It’s said that a journey of 1000 miles starts with one step and so by phasing out the 14 seater is like denying the small investor the first step that determines how far he or she will go. Mr. Kimunya please don’t deny them this right because no successful business has ever started with a large investment think of Nakumatt supermarket and many other small businesses that turned out to be successful.

Sir, if currently to get a loan to buy a 14 seater is difficult, what structures will there be in place that will make it easier for investors to get loans to buy the large buses?

Fourthly, the issue of matatu operators forming saccos and operating under them is well intended but I am afraid that they may turn out to be cartels since due to your directive most of them may not beat the deadline to form saccos and therefore those operators who already have saccos may charge high registration fees which may be exploitative and thus take us back to the dark days of exploitative cartels. In addition, allowing only one sacco per route kills the spirit of competition and thus hindering the operations of the industry.

Fifthly, I fail to understand the relationship between customization of matatus and road accidents. For instance why is it that Traffic policemen harass matatus with tinted windows and yet many personal vehicles have tinted windows including yours? Why the selective application of the law? It has been noted that many tourists visiting Kenya usually marvel and envy our matatu culture, customized matatus with graffiti and car entertainment that’s only unique to Kenya. Sir, by Traffic police harassing matatus that are customized this erodes our culture and leads to unemployment since many talented youths earn their daily bread by customizing these matatus and this may lead to insecurity since these youths lack any alternative source of income.

I vividly recall a documentary presented by Tim Njiru, a renowned Kenyan journalist, on the matatu culture in Kenya aired by the international news cable network Al Jazeera which created awareness on this culture and its impact on the economy and I believe that documentary really marketed Kenya Internationaly!

Sir, I fully support all the road safety measures being undertaken by your ministry and given an opportunity I would be more than glad to assist and participate in any of your campaign programs.

Let more energy be directed to road safety and not on harassing matatus since this ministry of Transport is not all about Public service vehicles but other forms of transport as well.

It’s my sincere hope that all these policies are aimed at improving the sector and not just aimed at benefiting some few individuals.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Guys, I have been appealing to you to sign the petitoin against banning our matatu culture. A big thank you to all those who have taken a few minutes to support our cause.

This letter came from a fellow Matatu lover and we are going to attach it to our petition and seek audience with the Ministry.

Remember together we can achieve more, so keep showing support. The link once again is http://www.petitiononline.com/matatu/petition.html…drop by.





Support Our Call Against The Banning Of Graffiti On Our Mats

12 11 2010

Fellow Matatu Maniacs,
We can’t just sit back and watch our culture go dow the drain hivi hivi tu. Fly matatus are part of us, its what we do.
I do suspect a hidden agenda in this sudden push for Sacco controlled buses on our routes. I know the Minister has something to gain from it.
Let me ask you, how many Nairobi based mats have you heard kill people on the roads? Now compare that number to the Sacco run long distance buses.My point is matatus do NOT kill people, reckless drivers do, and that’s what the Hon. Minister needs to be concentrating on,not how the mat looks.
So fellow maniacs, join our cause, click on http://www.PetitionOnline.com/matatu/petition.html and leave your signature there. We will make sure Mr. Kimunya lends us an ear.
Oh and…tell your friends.





Kampala Coach-FAIL!

27 10 2010

Ladies and gentlemen DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT ever travel with Kampala Coach, sure they are cheap,but so are their services.
Here are my reasons;

I booked 36 hours in advance after failing to get my desired seat on Modern Coast. This was a last resort as all other buses were fully booked, and it was getting late. I booked the second last seat from the back for two. I was going with a friend and we had to sit pamoja.

But alas! the next day when I reported things changed. First I was denied entry because, note this, I had no ID with me! Since when do I need to have an ID to be allowed free movement in my own country??? I was traveling to Kisumu,which is in Kenya, why the hell do I need to identify myself?? They had my name,my phone and ID number which in my view that was TMI already!

So I went back to the booking office to ask for a refund,since it was decided that I wasn’t gonna travel with them anyways, so then note; they were not going to issue a refund because ‘a booking once made cannot be unnmade’ at this point I was furious. I told the supervisor guy that we were not leaving that office until they gave us a refund and if that involved calling the police then so be it.

After much consulting and whispering amongst themselves they finally decided to let us travel bila ID, a refund was just not happening.

Please know that had they informed us at the point of making the booking that we had to have our cards with us it wouldn’t have been this big an issue,tungebeba ID,its really not that heavy.

So finally we got in the bus (which was filled with Ugandan football fans, just from the Kenya-Uganda match) only to find some Ugandan guy on our seat! The guy refused to move and the Kampala Coach guys did nothing to help us.

After much arguing we ended up traveling ON THE BACK SEAT! Yaani I gave MORDERN COAST a pass because they only had back seats available only to end up on the back seat of KAMPALA COACH! It was the worst trip ever.

To add salt to injury the driver was on some serious Miraa and rusha rushad us all the way to Kisumu. By 1.00am sharp we were at Kisumu, we had started travelling at 9.00pm!
Never again.





Sampling Up-Country Buses

6 10 2010

So I have to travel to the big city by the lakeside this weekend. Of course I’m going by road dummy,why would a pass on a chance to sample kina Modern Coast and Kampala Coach?

Its happens to be on short notice, so I really don’t have time to visit all the individual booking offices to compare services and most importantly, prices. So I decided to take the shortcut and just use the Internet, as I always say, Google is your friend.

I started with Akamba, in their contact section I found different phone numbers for different branches but alas! non of the six numbers I called were picked. I even tried calling the Lagos/Latema Road Branch Manager but, nothing. Even the headquarters in Industrial Area had no staff to tend to the clients!
Akamba management, I was seriously thinking of traveling with you but I’m sorry, you have a lost a client. You need to fire your whole customer service department, they suck.

Second I googled Easy Coach, now I like EC,they have set a service standard that cannot be rivaled lakini their prices! How do they quote Kshs 1100 Nairobi-Kisumu when their competitors are quoting 300bob lower? Shindwa kabisa.

My third stop was Kampala Coach. I have nothing to say about them as almost all the numbers they had listed on their site were unavailable, and the only one that was working went unanswered. Mko down.

Fourth stop, Crown Bus. These guys have the best customer service in the industry. My call rang not more than twice when a very friendly and professional sounding gentleman picked up. He gave me clear directions to their offices and quoted a price of 900 bob. Upto that point I was gonna travel with them until I came across the next site.

My final call was to Modern Coast. Customer service was ok,but unprofessional. It sounded like the customer service guy was walking around Garrissa Lodge with the office phone because when he picked, there was so much background noise we could hardly understand each other.
I did however manage to get that they charge a thao and their buses are air conditioned. Thats all I needed to hear coz beleive me, I have seen those buses, and they are the Nganyas of Up-Country buses.
I mean, look at this thing!

Modern Coast Bus

And the reason I wanna travel with it at night?

Light House

My sensible side wanted to so much to go with Crown but my Nganya loving side won, so Modern Coast it is :-)

Next time I wanna do Horizon, I hear their buses are hot, first class all the way. Check out the interior;

Horizon Interior

I’ll share my ‘Modern’ experience with y’all on Tuesday, till then, stay good.

You can join their fan group here








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.