Matatus to carry full capacity starting Monday, Government says

Transport CAS Chris Obure addressing journalists at the Transcom House in Nairobi on Friday, August 6, 2021. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Public Service Vehicles (PSV) countrywide will resume carrying passengers at full capacity starting Monday.

Transport Chief Administrative Secretary yesterday said the decision was made after reviewing Covid-19 protocols.

“We need to build confidence that we can allow for full capacity while at the same time ensuring continued protection against the spread of rapidly mutating variants of Covid-19,’’ Obure said.

The announcement comes at a time the country is experiencing the fourth wave.

Matatus and buses have been operating at 60 per cent capacity to maintain social distancing. The CAs said they had agreed to allow the industry to self-regulate and ensure all matatus have hand sanitisers.

‘‘As you are all aware, the number of Covid-19 cases has risen sharply in the country in the last few weeks. This new spike is attributed to the more transmissible Delta variant and calls for strict compliance with measures that have been put in place to minimise the spread of the pandemic,’’ Obure said while speaking to stakeholders in the sector.

‘‘All passengers must wear masks, are to be screened for body temperature using contact-free thermometer. No passenger is allowed to board if their body temperature is above 37.5 degrees Celsius and has other signs of Covid-19, including cough or shortness of breath,’’ said a statement issued after the meeting.

The matatu crew will have to use three-ply surgical masks. Hawking, preaching or begging in matatus and buses will not be allowed. 

‘‘Crews are to make constant on-board announcements reminding passengers on the need to uphold precautionary measures and also to ensure that the vehicle is disinfected after every trip,’’ said a statement.

Transport Principal Secretary Solomon Kitungu warned that PSV operators that they will revert to earlier regulations if they did not adhere to the rules.

According to industry leader Edwin Mukabana, the operators agreed that all PSV Saccos or associations will use cashless payment.

‘‘That has been being practised on long-distance although we have been having issues with short distance travel, rural and urban. But you can be sure that we have agreed that mobile money as a form of payment and we encourage those who have put stickers of “no mobile money” to remove them because if they are not aware there is regulation that requires them to have cashless ticketing,’’ he said.

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