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Vienna tips for Nairobi

From an orderly and effective public transport system to a comprehensive security bolstered by an extensive network of CCTV cameras, Vienna, the capital of Austria, has numerous lessons to offer Nairobi on how a modern city looks like.

A visit to Vienna paints an attractive picture of order and serenity; one that is devoid of the chaos, noise, and insecurity that are the hallmark of Nairobi.

In Vienna, you will not find police officers ordering you around. There are no touts calling you at the top of their voices to board the buses.

Vienna has a well-developed public transport system with buses, trains, trams and underground trains. All of the public transport is managed by the Municipal government of Vienna called Wiener Linien.

It operates five underground lines, more than 25 trams and 100 buses.

A ticket of 2 Euro and 40 cents (Sh250) serves a passenger for one hour in any of the public transport means, meaning you do not have to pay any money for one hour, whether you take the bus or tram or underground train.

These tickets are procured from vending machines at the station.

Once you purchase the ticket you pass it through a stamping machine which will record the time your ticket was purchased.

There are no conductors who will ask you to produce the tickets but once in a while the police will ask you for the ticket and if you fail to produce, you are fined 100 Euros (Sh11, 600).

The trams and trains are designed in a way that their floor levels are like that of the streets to allow people on wheelchairs, and parents with children prams and bicycles to board without difficulty.

On the streets, there are lanes for bicycles. The people of Vienna are encouraged to ride bicycles for their health and also to keep the environment clean.

The city is divided into 23 districts which are under the Ministry of Interior. Each district has an office that coordinates security, sanitation and general order of the district ,which comprises just four streets.

The decentralisation helps in quick response to crime, fire, and other eventualities as the services are located in the districts.

This is equal to having fire and police stations in each division in Nairobi; Buruburu, Embakasi, Pangani, Central, Kayole, Gigiri, Makadara, Kilimani and the others.

Above all, self-discipline in Vienna is upheld because of the heavy fines imposed on rule breakers.

The authorities are punished heavily for cases of corruption, including jailing, fines and having their savings withdrawn.