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Thika Road matatus protest Super Metro’s entry to Kahawa West route

Commuters and other road users were left stranded on April 18, 2023, after matatus plying the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) Kahawa West route blocked the Thika Superhighway.

Matatu from two Saccos that operate in the route was protesting the registration of a new Sacco.

The new entrant, Super Metro, which operates in Nairobi, had on Monday announced it was expanding its route network to Kahawa West.

The Sacco said in a statement it had acquired a 100-bus fleet that will be distributed on all of its routes.

“Kindly note that we have more than 100 new fleets that we shall distribute in all our different routes. Our main aim is to serve you our esteemed clients better and better,” the statement reads in part.

To celebrate its venture into the new route, Super Metro announced that it was offering free rides to all commuters between Nairobi CBD and Kahawa West for the entire Monday.

“Today we officially commenced our services in Kahawa West. As a way of thanking you the Kahawa West fraternity, we are offering you free rides to and fro,” the statement added.

“Our main aim is to serve our esteemed clients better and better.”

In retaliation, operators from Kahawa West, Roysambu, Zimmerman, and Githurai 44 blocked other motorists from accessing Lumumba Drive and Kahawa West roundabout as they staged demonstrations against the entry of Super Metro to the route.

The protests caused a shortage of matatus plying the Thika Super Highway route to different areas forcing commuters to walk to get transport.

Residents claim that they are unable to go in or even get out of Kahawa West.

Super Metro has become a popular option for passengers in Nairobi for its strict observance of traffic rules and regulations in an industry that is dominated by unruliness.

In February 2023, the commuter company unveiled a new fleet of electric buses plying the Nairobi CBD-Ngong, Nairobi CBD-Kitengela, and Nairobi CBD-Kikuyu routes in partnership with electric mobility startup BasiGo.

The model acquired by Super Metro is a K6, a 25-seat electric bus with a 250-kilometer range and less than four hours of recharge time.

Super Metro was founded by Nelson Mwangi and 13 other directors in 2013 and operates from Nairobi CBD to Ngong, Kitengela Kikuyu, Juja, Thika/Makongeni, and now Kahawa West with plans to expand to other routes in its PSV matatu industry takeover bid.

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