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Architects want transport system overhauled

By | January 9th 2010

By Ramadhan Rajab

Architects have called for an overhaul of the country’s public transport system to bring sanity on the roads.

The Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) said the chaotic transport system had led to loss of millions of shillings and is an impediment in realisation of the country’s development goals.

AAK Chairman Steven Oundo said past disruptions in public transport and the Government’s inability to come up with an alternate organised transport system is to blame for the increasing traffic gridlocks on our roads.

"If we are not careful our cities will come to a standstill soon," Oundo said. He said unpredictable public transport system had forced many people to use private cars, which is the cause of the persistent traffic jams.

The comment comes barely a day after the Government put up a taskforce to look into grievances of matatu operators. This was after a countrywide two-day strike by public service vehicles’.

Short-Term Measure

Oundo said the taskforce was only a short-term measure.

"Setting up a taskforce is only a fire fighting exercise. It can even worsen our problems if the Government does not come up with a lasting solution," Oundo said. He said the matatu sector was holding the country to ransom.

In their recommendation, AAK said the Government should come up with a formal public transport system. "If we have to steer our economy and conserve our environment as well, we should have a Government owned mass transport system-to make the sector reliable," said Mrs Irene Keino, a planning expert and AAK secretary.

She added: "This should be integrated with adequate city planning that will see infrastructural expansion." They also called for regulations and incentives to minimise the number of personal cars in city centres.

Oundo said designated lanes should be introduced for vehicles with three or more passengers as a way to encourage car pooling," he added.

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