Matatus on the spot for traffic snarl ups in Nairobi
Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) plying routes within Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD) are on the spot for deliberately causing traffic jams by operating in undesignated areas at the ward level.
Gatina Ward County Assembly Member Kennedy Swaka says the only way to decongest the CBD is to solve the problem at the ward level, where the problem always starts.
Mr Swaka says the persistent use of roundabouts and shoulders by PSVs as terminus have continued to cause heavy traffic congestion on major roads, resulting in loss of productive time and value for public money.
Through the motion, the member is seeking the Assembly’s help in urging the county government under Governor Johnson Sakaja to issue a public notice banning matatus from using roundabouts as termini.
The MCA wants the executive to ensure that laws governing the use of Nairobi’s roads are obeyed by matatu operators.
It also wants sub-county commanders to be in charge of roads in the city, who will also designate ward roads to ward commanders, who will end up having traffic marshals at the ward level.
“This will ensure that there is discipline by these operators…the problem is that we focus a lot on the CBD and forget that during peak hours there is no smooth operation of the roads coming from the wards, which ends up wasting time,” said Mr Swaka.
The MCA blames the county’s transport sector for failing to designate pick-up and drop-off points on various routes.
“It is clear that these regulations have not been put in place by the executive, so I don’t know if it is their delaying tactics or what.”
The Gatina member also wants the assembly to formulate regulations for the Nairobi City County Transport Act 2020, which should include punitive measures for operators who illegally use roundabouts as termini.
His move comes as the county government continues to grapple with plans to decongest the city following the failure of the Green Park terminus plan.
Governor Sakaja’s plan to use the Green Park terminus as a drop-off point for long-distance matatus collapsed after a section of matatu owners took him to court.
The terminus, which was started by the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) remains idle.