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Chaos looms in city as new matatu policy takes effect

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Nairobi residents should brace  for transport  chaos in the central business district (CBD) as the county government implements a policy aimed at decongesting traffic in the city centre.

Beginning today, only two Public Service Vehicles (PSV) of each Sacco will be allowed in designated slots in the CBD at a time. Matatu Saccos are expected to find a holding area for the rest of their vehicles.

Enforce law

This was agreed upon yesterday in a meeting between City Inspectorate Director Peter Mbaya and chairpersons of matatu saccos.

“We have agreed with them and we will start implementing the directive. We have agreed with the chairpersons that they will control their members while the county government will enforce the law,” Mbaya told the media after the meeting.

He said most of the congestion is felt during the day because several vehicles are queueing, waiting for their turn to pick passengers.

“The biggest problem is brought about by lining up of matatus. For instance, you will find nine vehicles from the same Sacco waiting for their turn to pick passengers and this causes traffic snarl-ups. In the morning and evening it is smooth since the vehicles drop passengers and leave immediately,” said Mbaya.

The county government had initially announced the two PSVs per Sacco directive in May but the plan was suspended.

Designated areas

Mbaya said the new rules were also informed by the fact that some PSVs had turned their designated areas into parking lots, causing massive traffic congestion in the city centre.

He said vehicles that do not have picking and dropping points should apply and they will be allocated slots.

Mbaya also assured matatu operators that they will be given sufficient notice period to vacate the CBD saying the county government is still working on some of the termini outside the city where the PSVs will be moved. About nine termini are to be constructed outside the city centre.

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