PSVS vow to defy city cen­tre ban

Matatu own­ers group warns that Nairobi will come to a ‘stand­still” if the ban is ef­fected


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Ashow­down looms to­mor­row af­ter matatu op­er­a­tors in Nairobi vowed to defy the di­rec­tive by Nairobi County gov­ern­ment to ban pub­lic ser­vice ve­hi­cles from the city cen­tre even as the or­der faces lo­gis­ti­cal night­mares.

On Thurs­day, City Hall an­nounced that no Pub­lic Ser­vice Ve­hi­cle (PSV) will be al­lowed into the Nairobi Cen­tral Busi­ness District (CBD) to pick -up or drop off pas­sen­gers say­ing that it was com­menc­ing the op­er­a­tional­i­sa­tion of a gazette no­tice of May 12, 2017 that des­ig­nated spe­cific ter­mini and routes within PSVS op­er­at­ing through city cen­tre.

Act­ing County Sec­re­tary Pauline Kahiga stated that the county gov­ern­ment had re­voked all pre­vi­ous gazette no­tices al­lo­cat­ing any other place as pick­ing and drop­ping ar­eas within the CBD.

“The op­er­a­tors are re­quired to take note that the above changes take ef­fect as from De­cem­ber 3, 2018,” read the no­tice from Ms Kahiga.

But matatu op­er­a­tors have ques­tioned the fea­si­bil­ity of the or­der as the des­ig­nated ter­mini face ca­pac­ity, amenity and se­cu­rity chal­lenges mak­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the di­rec­tive dif­fi­cult.

Matatu Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (MOA) chair­man Si­mon Kimu­tai warned that Nairobi will come to a ‘stand­still” if the ban is ef­fected thanks to the grid­lock likely to oc­cur as the over 20,000 mata­tus that ply the var­i­ous city routes fight for space in the des­ig­nated ter­mini out­side the CBD.

Mr Kimu­tai stated that the ca­pac­ity of all the des­ig­nated ter­mini is about 500 park­ing slots only.

“I do not think this will work. It can­not work as no­body is pre­pared for it. What is the ca­pac­ity of Muthurwa Fig Tree and Mu­rang'a Road ter­mi­nus?.

“Even if we hon­oured it, for in­stance, Nairobi will come to a stand­still as we have over 20,000 ve­hi­cles in Nairobi and we have more or less the same num­ber com­ing from up­coun­try,” added Mr Kimu­tai yes­ter­day.

He said that more than 2,000 ve­hi­cles ply Jo­goo Road route while the Thika Road and Waiyaki Way have over 3,000 ve­hi­cles. Mom­basa and Lang'ata road routes have more than 8,000 ve­hi­cles with Ngong Road hav­ing over 1,000 ve­hi­cles.

Mr Kimu­tai ex­plained that the listed bus ter­mini are al­ready full and they can­not ac­com­mo­date more than 50 ve­hi­cles each.

“It will bring on con­fu­sion as there will be grid­lock as pas­sen­gers dis­em­bark. They should have looked for a hold­ing ground just to park and then al­low for a cer­tain num­ber of ve­hi­cles to come to the CBD but how would they have known this when they did not in­volve rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers?” posed the MOA boss.

As­so­ci­a­tion of Matatu Op­er­a­tors (AMO) chair­man Ji­mal Ibrahim termed the des­ig­nated ter­mini as sub-stan­dard cit­ing Hakati or Cen­tral Bus Sta­tion ter­mi­nus and de­scribed Muthurwa, Mu­rang'a Road and Fig Tree ter­mini as small and lack­ing se­cu­rity.

“My mem­bers are not ready to move out un­til the county gov­ern­ment meets their stan­dards. The ter­mini are too small to fit our ve­hi­cles and they have not reached our stan­dards for in­stance Muthurwa is in a mess,” said Mr Ibrahim.

He sug­gested that the county gov­ern­ment should have made Machakos Coun­try Bus sta­tion a hold­ing ground for city mata­tus, moved long dis­tance PSVS out of the CBD to West­lands and Kasarani and hiked park­ing fees for pri­vate ve­hi­cles to Sh1, 000 daily to de­con­gest the cap­i­tal city.

“If I was the gover­nor I would have first dealt with the long dis­tance buses and move them out of the city cen­tre, hike sea­sonal park­ing for pri­vate ve­hi­cles to re­duce their num­bers in the CBD and make Machakos Coun­try a hold­ing ground for city cen­tre mata­tus,” he said.

Matatu Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Dick­son Mbugua said that the des­ig­nated ter­mini are in bad con­di­tion with no lights, bad car­pet­ing and can­not be able to ac­com­mo­date all mata­tus in Nairobi.

“For ex­am­ple, Muthurwa Ter­mi­nus has been taken over by hawk­ers and I won­der how it will ac­com­mo­date all the ve­hi­cles from Jo­goo Road. Com­muters should not suf­fer. The county should come up with so­lu­tions of trans­port­ing them from the ter­mini to the CBD and vice versa,” said Mr Mbugua said.

On Thurs­day, Nairobi Trans­port ex­ec­u­tive Mo­hamed Da­gane said that the des­ig­nated ter­mini have a ca­pac­ity of 505 park­ing slots in to­tal but ex­plained that they will only act as pick-up and drop­ping points for pas­sen­gers and not hold­ing grounds for the mata­tus.

“This gazette no­tice is not any­thing new but we are just re­in­forc­ing it. There are many Sac­cos al­ready op­er­at­ing from the ter­mini which are al­ready marked. We do not want them to be hold­ing grounds but pick-up and drop­ping points for pas­sen­gers,” said Mr Da­gane on Thurs­day.

On mat­ters se­cu­rity and how the or­der will be im­ple­mented, the Trans­port ex­ec­u­tive said that it will be im­ple­mented in con­junc­tion with the na­tional gov­ern­ment through the Min­istry of In­te­rior.

“We will po­si­tion of­fi­cers in var­i­ous en­try points who will be di­rect­ing the mata­tus and not al­low them to come into the city cen­tre,” he said.

Mr Da­gane al­layed fears that the ban will in­con­ve­nience com­muters say­ing that 40 per cent of com­muters in Nairobi al­ways walk to work.

How­ever, MOA chair Kimu­tai was of a con­trary opin­ion say­ing that the ban will sig­nif­i­cantly in­con­ve­nience com­muters who will have to walk long dis­tances to ac­cess work places.

The no­tice pub­lished in the lo­cal daily in­di­cated that all PSVS ac­cess­ing the CBD from Jo­goo and Lusaka Roads will be pick­ing and drop­ping pas­sen­gers at the Muthurwa Ter­mi­nus.

Those us­ing Waiyaki Way, Uhuru High­way, Ki­pande and Limuru roads will have their fi­nal stop at Mu­ranga Road Fig Tree Ter­mi­nus A. The same as those from Thika Su­per­high­way.

PSVS that go past Ruiru but branch off be­fore Kenol Town on Ny­eri/meru - Nairobi Road, will stop at De­sai Road ter­mi­nus. Those go­ing past Kenol on Ny­eri/meru-nairobi road and all up­coun­try buses on Uhuru High­way will be sta­tioned at Park Road Ter­mi­nus.

Mata­tus us­ing Juja Road, Ring Road Ngara and Park Road to ac­cess CBD will stop at Ngara Road Ter­mi­nus.

All Ur­ban and peri-ur­ban routes from Mom­basa Road and Lan­gata road will use Hakati ter­mi­nus while those from Ngong Road will stop at Rail­ways.

High ca­pac­ity PSVS from up­coun­try will be sta­tioned at the Machakos ter­mi­nus while mata­tus in­clud­ing City Hoppa, Kenya Bus Ser­vices which are on mul­ti­ple routes within the city will be sta­tioned at Cen­tral Bus Sta­tion. en­listed, pro­vide their ap­point­ment num­bers, ranks and date of pro­mo­tion.

The fourth will be the key­ing in the of­fi­cers' sta­tions and when they re­ported there.

Of­fi­cers will also have to give their trans­fer his­tory. The gov­ern­ment also wants the of­fi­cers to give de­tails of their school­ing.

They will also say the marks and grades scored.

Lastly, the of­fi­cers will be re­quired to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on their next of kin.

Dr Ma­tiang'i said the aim of the pro­gramme is to en­sure most data in his min­istry is elec­tron­i­cally reg­is­tered.

He also said data on li­censed gun hold­ers should be digi­tised. This was af­ter he learnt that many peo­ple who pos­sess guns are not cer­ti­fied le­gally.

Mr Boin­net di­rected county com­mis­sion­ers to pre­pare po­lice of­fi­cers for the dig­i­tal mi­gra­tion.

He has also sent the same in­for­ma­tion to po­lice com­man­ders.

“As we talk, the of­fi­cers' de­tails are in files. We need to cap­ture the bio­met­rics dig­i­tally,” he said.

He added that of­fi­cers are al­ready us­ing ser­vice stand­ing or­ders, an app in their smart­phones.

With the records of of­fi­cers be­ing kept dig­i­tally, it will be hard for im­posters to op­er­ate in Kenya, he said.

Also, the pub­lic will be able to au­then­ti­cate from their gad­gets if one is a po­lice of­fi­cer.

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