Public transport paralysed over crackdown

Bernard Gitau and Alvin Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe

Commuters in Nairobi were yesterday forced to dig deeper into their pockets while others walked for long distances after most Public Service Vehicles (PSV) kept off the road following police crackdown on non-compliance.

The operators indicated the public transport paralysis might continue with “Michuki rules” making a come back. The government had given PSVs up to November 12 to comply. The measures require PSVs to among other things install safety belts, speed governors and paint a continuous yellow line across the sides of vehicles.

Further, the rules will require the matatus crew to be in uniform all the time, display their passports on the windscreen and avoid making too much noise especially touting.

Those who spoke to the People Daily accused police of extortion even before the deadline expires.

“It is rotten because police have turned Matatu industry into a cash cow, investors cannot get value for their money because vehicles in good condition when flagged down must part with money,” Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai said. He added that the rules must be enforced in a humane manner.

Yesterday’s crackdown saw an upsurge of fares by more than 100 per cent. The rules that will also see passengers riding without seat belts fined Sh500 instantly are aimed at curbing road carnage.

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