By Jude Titus
The Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke has introduced a two-way flow for all matatus in the Nairobi CBD, a move that is meant to reduce and solve the traffic menace in the capital city.
He made the announcement at City Hall after an official meeting with the County Government, the Matatu Welfare Association and the Matatu Owners Association.
Other stakeholders that were present during the meeting included the National Transport and Safety Authority [NTSA], the inspectorate department, a handful of matatu Sacco’s and other corporates.
Mueke indicated that his team has planned and structured immediate, short, medium and long-term goals. He also asked all the stakeholders to co-operate to enable the success of the plans.
The meeting resolved that promotion of equity on operations must be given priority. All the stakeholders agreed to implement and execute the previous plans of reducing traffic jams in the city and the transport sector in general.
‘‘All the matatus from the East will exit through the West and all those from the North through the South. They will only be passing within the central business district to pick and drop passengers at designated points,’’ said Mueke.
The Deputy Governor also added that matatu saccos will be revamped to give efficient and effective services.
The Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero gave a quick reminder to matatu operators to surrender their parking licenses to City Hall before Wednesday next week [April 6] for the verification process.
‘‘In order to continue attracting investors and visitors we are focused on restoring order in the public service sector by ensuring observation of transport rules, cleanliness of vehicles and avoidance of noise pollution,’’ Kidero reiterated.
The Nairobi County Government and matatu operators have been in a sour relationship after the county cancelled all Public Service Vehicles [PSVs] parking licenses in the Central Business District following unending calls from traders and the entire business fraternity. The frustrations from the business community came as a result of unruliness displayed by the PSVs.
The business fraternity had protested earlier and threatened to stop paying land dues claiming that the unruliness hurts their businesses severely. The PSVs are said to block business entrances causing commotion and pollution which are not favourable for businesses to thrive.
The Nairobi Governor said that the rogue matatus have been breaching the law as they park anywhere creating an unconducive environment in the Capital City.
Other companies have also embraced technology to assist the general public combat the traffic menace within the city. Nokia Smart phone users for instance only need to download the K-Traffic application and have the opportunity to instantly get a head start on the routes they plan to use by accessing live-camera updates on major Nairobi and Mombasa city routes.
Vehicle owners who access the city also have a role to play in combating traffic by following simple tips like ensuring their vehicles are properly maintained to prevent breakdowns on the roads. They should also try to maintain a safe and ample distance between them and the drivers ahead of them.