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Route 237 commuters on Saturday could afford to breathe a sigh of relief following the resumption of commuter services by the Kenya Mpya Bus Company.

On Friday Morning, the company put on hold all its services to attend a The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) summon at Cravers Motel over increased cases of accidents involving their buses in the past few months. 

This meant that their over a hundred buses could not operate for the whole day an action that left thousands of commuters stranded for hours as other bus companies got overwhelmed by the big number of commuters involved. Most of their buses remained parked at their yard in Section 9 Estate and various petrol stations in Thika Town including the main bus station.

Passengers were forced to find alternative means of transport, and many had to spend extra money because those bus companies that were operational took advantage of the situation to hike fares. It was a field day for Chania, Manchester and Iska bus companies as well as a few from Githurai Route who grabbed the chance to make a killing. 

Fares in the morning hours went to Sh.70 but later shot up to Sh.100 in the afternoon. The 14-seater matatus charged between Sh.150 and Sh.170 to go to Nairobi. On a normal day, Kenya Mpya, Manchester and Iska buses charge Sh.50 to Nairobi as Chania buses trade for as low as Sh.40.

The impasse elicited a hot debate on social media with so many for or against the bus company. Those in support argued that Kenya Mpya restore sanity in the 237 route by both bringing down fares as well as bringing orderliness and a bit of professionalism in the trade.

Those against the company contended that they were too risky since one was never guaranteed of reaching their destination safely. Some argued that their drivers were arrogant and very rough on the road.

As for those who talked our crew from the main bus station, the result was just one sided in the affirmative. 

One of the crew with the bus company who spoke in anonymity said, “We are glad that we are able to resume services. It caused an inconvenience to a number of people and we will attempt to resume normal schedule services. I saw the residents’ joy when they saw our buses back at the bus station. They can now do their chores and not have to suffer exploitation by other companies.”

One passenger who spoke to Thika Town Today was just happy to have these buses back.

“I’m happy that Kenya Mpya are back in service. These buses are very comfortable and their services are good,” she said. 

Over 8,000 commuters were affected by the stalemate some of whom included students.

The NTSA meeting included all the company officials, drivers and crew. Thika Town Today was not able to get the exact details of the agreement since our efforts to reach any of the company's officials were fruitless.

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