A Super Metro Sacco matatu designed to comply with Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. From next week, matatus will be required to be fitted with the new sitting arrangement.

Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) will require authorisation from the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA), ministries of Health and Interior starting next week to operate. According to the NTSA website, the operators have to obtain a public service transport clearance form duly filled by the three departments before getting authorisation to operate. The PSV operators will be required to resubmit the application for operating which will be validated every 30 days failure to which their clearance will be revoked. 

The authorisation letters have to be signed by their county commissioners and county directors of public health. The crew will be required to have valid licenses, and vehicles fixed with the new sitting arrangement in respect of social distancing in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols. In Murang’a County, the operators have until Tuesday next week to comply with requirements set by the stakeholders.

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Awaiting directions

Yesterday, PSV Saccos visited public health offices for clarification on requirements of passenger handling at the loading bays and inside the vehicles.  Murang’a Shuttle Service chairman Martin Wairimu said they are awaiting directions from the health officials.

“We have information in our emails and we need further explanation to understand and comply,” said the official.

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County Public Health Officer Gitonga Muthui said the regulations are designed to stop the spread of the disease through public transport.

“The applicants are asked to submit two copies of their applications to county commissioners offices,” read the directives on the NTSA website.

The requirements include hand sanitizers and seats for the requisite number of passengers.