Matatus withdrawn from roads as major crackdown starts
City residents woke up on Monday to a transport crisis as many public service vehicle owners made good their threat to keep off the roads to protest the government’s enforcement of the ‘Michuki rules.’
By 4.30am, the few vehicles available in Nairobi routes had doubled fares as hundreds of commuters chose to walk to their destinations amid the matatu shortage.
A Nation spot check on Jogoo-Outer Ring Road revealed that fares had shot up to Sh200 from Pipeline to the Central Business District (CBD) as commuters in Donholm parted with Sh100 more than the usual Sh30-Sh50 fares.
There are fears the fares could go higher with times.
“I’ve walked from Embakasi where the fare was Sh200. I’ve found that it’s Sh100 at Donholm and I’ll continue to walk until I get a place where they will charge at least Sh80 to town,” Ms Josephine Mueni said.
Other Kenyans took their complaints to Twitter where it emerged that fares from Pangani to town, a distance of about five kilometres, had shot up from Sh20 to Sh80.
A similar situation was evident at Githurai 45 where commuters were charged Sh250 to the CBD and Sh200 from Roysambu. It is the same on Ngong Road, Rongai and Uthiru.
In Buru Buru, there were hardly any matatus and commuters were scrambling to get in the one that was at the stage at 5:45am.
At the popular KenComm and nearby stage at Ambassadeur Hotel there were no buses. Two buses dropped people off at Kencom but didn’t carry any passengers.
The transport crisis is bound to have a ripple effect on other key economic activities.
Green grocers within the estates, commonly referred to ‘mama mboga’, who are among the early risers in Kenyan towns, were also affected because majority of them rely on public transport to move their goods from the market.