People Daily

Showdown looms in city as mass PSVs entry ban starts

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Public transport could be thrown into disarray as from today following a directive that only two Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) from each registered Sacco will be allowed in designated areas in the Central Business District (CBD) as part of decongesting Nairobi.

The directive comes into effect today, with respective matatu Saccos expected to find a holding area for the rest of their PSVs.

But matatu operators have rejected the move terming it unsustainable even as they pointed an accusing finger at private cars, which they say occupy virtually all parking slots in the CBD hence causing traffic snarl-ups.

City Inspectorate director Peter Mbaya, who gave the directive on Friday said his department would be on the lookout to impound vehicles that flout the new rule.

He said the directive has been informed by the fact that some PSVs have turned their designated areas into parking lots,  thereby causing massive traffic snarl-ups in and out of  the city.

He said vehicles without picking and dropping points should apply for space.  “We will only allow two vehicles from the same sacco at a time because those designated areas are supposed to be only for picking and dropping off passengers.

It is the sacoo’s responsibility to look for holding grounds, where they will be operating from,” he said. Mbaya, however, assured matatu operators that they will be given enough notice to completely vacate the CBD saying  they are still working on some of the termini outside the city where the PSVs will be moved.

About nine termini are to be constructed to hold PSVs outside CBD. Consequently, cartels operating in matatu termini have been put on notice, with Mbaya saying they will now be apprehended.

He said only drivers and their touts, clad in their respective uniforms, will be allowed on the picking points. “The driver and touts who will be inside their cars will not be arrested. Those who shout everyday for passengers to board PSVs are no longer allowed to operate and will all be apprehended. Passengers should be allowed to choose vehicles to board,” he asserted.

City Hall has already declared that PSVs will be moved from CBD, even as it attributed indiscipline among drivers as one of the major causes of congestion on the roads.

Some of the termini identified to move vehicles include Muthurwa, Machakos Country Bus Station, Park Road, Ngara, Railways, Murang’a Road as well as Hakati.

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