Tuesday, May 29, 2007

14 seats

Matatus are mini buses that travel all over Kenya. In early 2005, the government changed their policies on matatus. Before, if an operator wanted to cram 300 people into the minibus, that was alright. No longer. (A great change!) 14 passengers is the max - and seatbelts are required by law for all 14. Moms frequently carry their kids on their laps (beyond the 14 rule) - but that's another story.

The government will be phasing out the 14-seaters, but that's yet another story.

"Matatu" in Swahili means that you could travel for 30 cents, a standard fare wherever and whenever you went: three 10 cent coins. (Special thanks to my friend toneloc who gave me the truth on that!)


Anonymous ToneLoc said...

It actually used to cost 30 cents, a standard fare wherever and whenever you went. Three 10 cent coins.

Wed May 30, 05:09:00 AM PDT  
Blogger The Lone Beader said...

Ha! That reminds me, did you check out the beaded British bus I'm workin on??

Wed May 30, 06:26:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sasa, I miss the matatu's of Kenya!

Mark James Bowness

Wed May 30, 12:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Shilingi-Moja said...

One standard comment (kidding, of course) about the meaning of "matatu" was that it meant "there's always room for 3 more."


Thu May 31, 06:19:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Tracy said...

I was there in Sept and we NEVER had 14 people in a matatu, 21 was the most ... I love the chaos.
I'm going back next week (dec 4th)

Sun Dec 02, 06:54:00 PM PST  

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