An analysis of factors affecting performance of matatu enterprises' sector : a case study of selected routes in Nairobi
Kyalo, Paul Mbatha
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The study sought to establish factors affecting Matatu enterprises in Nairobi, Kenya. Transport plays an important role in integrating the various sectors in the economy and the sector makes crucial contribution to economic growth and development. The share of this sector in GDP is 8.5% for the period 1998 to 2002(IPAR 2004). Road transport is the leading sub sector accounting for 2.9% of the GDP. Roads currently accounts for over 80% of the country's total passenger and 76% of freight traffic (Republic of Kenya, 2002).. Public as well as private organizations require efficient and well-coordinated transport systems to enable them realize conveyance of their goods and services effectively. This study has also reviewed works done by other researchers in areas of. socio-economic niche in the Matatu industry in Kenya, the role of the transport sector in development, Matatus as a mode of transport in Kenya, efficiency and punctuality of services by Matatus, road traffic accidents in Kenya, cartels, conflicts and violence in the Matatu enterprise and working conditions of matatu operators in Kenya as well as regulatory framework and emerging issues in the sector. Descriptive research design was used in the methodology. Target population was all the operators and owners of PSVs. The total number of matatus plying Nairobi city routes is approximately 5,100 and the designated routes in Nairobi are 60. Buruburu and Kahawa west Routes were selected for the research. Stratified, purposeful, simple and random sampling methods were used to draw a sample of 126 respondents from the selected routes. Data was collected mainly using questionnaires that were administered to PSV owners while interview schedules were administered to operators in the selected routes in Nairobi. Quantitative data was analyzed by generating descriptive statistic such as percentages and measures of central tendency. The data was presented using tables, charts and cross tabulations. MS-Excel was used to generate the descriptive statistics and to establish the relation between the dependent, independent and intervening variables of the study. Qualitative data was organized into themes and categories pertinent to the study, from which the researcher closely evaluated the usefulness of the information in answering the research questions. The study concluded that the weaknesses in the matatu sub-sector can be reduced by improving the management skills of owners, lowering costs of operations, research, law enforcement and improving the road transport infrastructure by the government. Young people need to be encouraged to form partnerships to enable them purchase higher capacity PSVs which are more profitable to operate. Matatu business has a chance of rapid growth if there is law and order and if it is well supported by government and financial institutions that can give loans at low interest rates. The study made recommendations based on the findings and highlighted on the measures that should be taken to improve public transport sub sector. The study is useful to Government of Kenya policy makers in improving both the management and profitability of the sector. It is also useful to investors interested in the industry, commuters, insurance industry, and traffic police department as they strife to create efficiency in the sub sector. It has also added to the existing body of knowledge especially on the public transport sub-sector.