GABON DIARY: No matatus here, just old rickety taxis
The transport system in Gabon’s capital city Libreville makes for an interesting case study.
For starters, matatus don’t exist here; so movement in Libreville largely depends on taxis.
All one has to do is flag them down and order the driver to ferry you to your destination. Interestingly, you don’t need to agree on the fare beforehand.
Most of the taxis on the streets of Libreville have seen better days, perhaps after many years of ‘hard labour’.
The good mannerism and positive attitude of most taxi drivers however make up for the beaten state of the jalopies, which are all left hand drive.
There are however one or two drivers who are just as reckless as their ‘cousins’ in Nairobi. They play loud music and seem eager to rush you through the journey so as to make more trips, which should translate to more money.
Fares are slightly higher than what Kenyans pay in the capital over the similar distances. Town services fee, for example, is at a fixed rate of Sh2,000, while moving out of town will take you back by between Sh3,000 and Sh4,000.
Technology enhancement has also yet to be implemented in the transport sector here as is the case in Nairobi. Uber? Nobody knows about it here!
Then of course there is the little issue of language barrier since most of the drivers only speak French.
Some that Nairobi News talked to confessed of their desire to make a killing following with the sudden surge in demand for their services that has been occasioned by the ongoing 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.