Sonko@100: Matatu ‘madness’ still a headache for Nairobi governor
It’s been more than 100 days since Nairobi governor Mike Sonko and his deputy Polycarp Igathe took office and some of the pledges he said he would deliver within that period remain unimplemented.
Key among them are the reforms he proposed for the city’s transport sector.
Sonko and Igathe had promised to decongest the CBD using high capacity and double decker buses, a plan that was halted after the matatu ban was suspended.
Sonko said he had given matatu operators a month to self-regulate before the changes of having off-town drop offs and high capacity buses plying CBD.
So far, only City Hoppa Bus Company has acquired a double decker and this was way before Sonko came into power.
Moi Avenue has become a parking lot for buses plying Kahawa West and Kasarani routes while Githurai buses seal off the lower part of Ronald Ngala Street.
In the Sonko manifesto the plan to decongest the city was to kick off in 100 days with the introduction of high capacity buses.
“We shall immediately allow vehicles with over 60 passengers to start plying Nairobi routes, and give incentives to transport companies to introduce double decker buses,” read the manifesto
The leadership at the Matatu Owners Association that controls most of the public transport in the city says it has not been made aware of 60 capacity buses plan by the county government.
“We took our own initiative and travelled out of the country to check on procurement of high capacity buses of 100 passengers. There is however the need for the infrastructure to be improved to support the investment so that we do not end up incurring high costs to procure the buses and are unable to service the loans due to high costs of doing business,” the association Chairman Simon Kimutai told Nairobi News.
The Sonko administration was to provide safe walkways within 100 days while working with “cement companies sand harvesters from neighboring Machakos and Kajiado counties and with VTCs who will train our youth to lead in this paving revolution.”
The walkways were to be at, Kibera-Nyayo Stadium-Industrial area, Juja Road, Pangani, CBD, Jogoo Road, Industrial area, Kangemi to Westlands.
A spot check by Nairobi News along the areas mentioned in the manifesto revealed that no works have started to provide the safe walkways for Nairobians.
Within the first 100 days, the administration was to improve the road signage by “providing additional road signs in all roads that are not properly marked and improve pedestrian services across the city.”
Mr Kimutai says the association is also waiting like most Nairobians for the plans in the transport sector to be implemented.
“The county government hasn’t settled well because of Nairobi is the central arena where politics has played out since the elections so I wouldn’t blame them as such. I believe with goodwill and consultations with stakeholders, the plans will improve transport in the city,” said Mr Kimutai.
However, there have been no efforts by the new county transport executive Mohamed Ahmed Dagane to reach out to the association since he was sworn in two weeks ago.