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City matatus given up to Wednesday to surrender licences

By Cyrus Ombati | April 4th 2016

NAIROBI, KENYA: Nairobi County Government has started implementing a report that detailed how it can address the matatu menace in the city.

As part of the plan, matatus have until Wednesday to return for verification and re-allocation all central business district parking licenses.

This follows the decision by the county government led by Governor Evans Kidero to limit the operations of the matatus in the city.

Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke said that the Matatu Owners Association and the Matatu Welfare Associaton had agreed to go through the verification process.

This is because there are many fake licenses on circulation and that of the more than 30,000 PSVs in Nairobi only 12,000 were paid for.
As part of the efforts, a contractor is working on the Muthurwa terminus and installing lighting to make it operate 24 hours.

A report by a team of experts dubbed Transport and Urban Decongestion Committee says there is need to re-introduce transit routes so that no public service vehicle should stop and pick passengers in town.

"Provide drop off points in the city centre, for PSVs, matatus and mini buses should not access the city centre, route licenses should be strictly enforced, taxis should not park within the CBD but should be mobile and circulating and cargo deliveries should be restricted to weekends or night within the CBD," says part of the report.

The vehicles are now supposed to move from one end of the city to the next, picking and dropping passengers.

"We will go back to the days where a bus would pick up passengers from the airport and drive all the way to Kawangware, Dandora to Kibera, Kasarani to Uthiru. They just passed through the Central Business District but did not park in the city centre," said Mr Mueke.

The report says only essential and emergency service vehicles should be given preferential treatment on the roads.

"Ministers and senior government officials and other government vehicles should not be given preferential access treatment."

The report proposes to construct a ten-storey park at the NSSF land between GPO and Laico Regency Hotel with the first four floors being designated for PSVs only.

Private cars should be discouraged from the city centre, taxis be chased away and encouraged from parking at one point and there is need for tolling and concessions to limit vehicles into the CBD, the report adds.

There are short, medium and long-term recommendations in the report. Matatu saccos will be reorganised to become bigger and stronger.

"The final medium term intervention will involve provision of well-defined non-motorized transport corridors to connect to the CBD and the termini."

Bumps on major highways will also be abolished for fast flow of vehicles.

The operators met in Nairobi Friday and resolved to establish temporary working committees on transport, involving all stakeholders that will ensure all pending issues are addressed.

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