Alvin Mwangi @PeopleDailyke
Another showdown is looming between public transport operators and the government over a proposal by the National Transport and Safety Authority to phase out 14-seater matatus from the Central Business District (CBD).
Yesterday, Matatu Owners Association (MOA) protested the move saying President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a decree in 2015 for the vehicles to operate within town.
MOA chairman Simon Kimutai said NTSA had notified them of the plan which they said once effected, would lead to loss of jobs and millions of shillings the sector makes daily.
“We have not had any consultation about the phase off. The presidential decree was for 14-seater vehicles to operate and since then, we have not had any other discussions with him to have them phased off,” he said.
Kimutai stated that NTSA has not issued the operators with any mechanism if they are removed from the CBD.
“It’s not yet time. We will get there. It must be structured in a way that every stakeholder will be accommodated and their views are taken into consideration,” added Kimutai.
According to statistics from MOA, 14-seater matatus contribute to 40 per cent of transport in Nairobi and its environs.
Last week, Transport Cabinet secretary James Macharia said the government was planning to phase out low capacity PSVs. Macharia said the first batch of high capacity commuter vehicles will arrive in Nairobi in February 2019.
Meanwhile, Kimutai has dismissed claims that he is part of a cartel that has been collaborating with the government to buy the 64-seater buses for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.