Matatus commence carrying passengers at full capacity
Public Service Vehicles (PSV) countrywide on Monday, August 9, 2021, resumed carrying passengers at full capacity amid fears of a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases.
The directive took effect Monday morning amid grave concerns on passenger’s safety.
Players in the public transport sector have welcomed the new directive to allow them to self-regulate and carry at full capacity.
A spot check by Nairobi News, at most bus terminus, showed that most buses had enforced the new roles.
The move comes three days after Transport Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Chris Obure announced the industry had agreed to self-regulate in Covid-19 compliance.
In Kasarani, long queues were seen during the early morning rush hour, no social distancing was observed as some passengers wearing masks improperly pushed and shoved for space.
“To mitigate the challenges, we reviewed the existing protocols in March this year as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 4th Presidential address on Coronavirus pandemic on March 12, 2021. This review introduced new measures that were to allow for full capacity but we have not been able to implement the revised protocol because the infection rates have remained high,” he said.
Some of the measures agreed upon were that the matatus will be cleaned and disinfected and all passengers will sanitize their hands before boarding.
All passengers will be expected to wear masks properly while all Saccos should have a thermal-guns to check passengers’ temperature before boarding.
But On Monday, the operators appeared not keen to enforce the ministry of health protocols agreed upon to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai warned operators that not adhering to the guidelines will have their licenses revoked.
While calling upon every Kenyan to take personal responsibility, Kimutai said they were working closely with County governments to ensure water points are installed at all bus stations as part of the measures discussed.
“We will play our role by ensuring that no passenger will board PSV without washing hands, sanitizing, and masking. We will also fumigate the vehicles. The consequences are severe for us in the industry. We must play by the rules or else have our licenses revoked” he said.
He urged the police to support the industry by strictly enforcing the Covid measures.
The Public Service Vehicles- PSV, have been operating at 60 percent capacity. Since the pandemic, the 14-seater matatu was allowed to carry 10 passengers, while a 33-seater bus, 18 passengers including the driver and crew.