Commuters in Nairobi were forced to walk to work today following the ban by the Nairobi City County, which outlawed Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) from accessing the Central Business District (CBD).
The commotion created as the matatus, which are expected to pick and drop passengers at new terminus outside the city center, could not contain in the terminuses due to capacity, and hundreds of passengers who were forced to trek resulted to traffic snarl-ups that saw motorists stuck for hours.
“It took me a whole 2.5 hours from Thika Road to Upperhill. This is insane,” John Kimani, a motorist lamented.
“I have walked from city stadium to Kencom, am headed to Westlands but I don’t even know where to find a matatu,” said Mercy, a commuter who had been stranded at the Odeon cinema earlier on.
Last week the county government warned that Public Service Vehicles will not be allowed access to the Central Business District from Monday 3rd December, in the latest effort by the government to ease congestion in the city center.
City Hall also revoked all gazette notices and letters that had earlier allocated pick-up and drop-off points in the CBD.
NEW MATATU TERMINUS / STAGE
All vehicles headed to the city center from Ngong road will be expected to end their trip at the Railways terminus while those from Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande Road and Limuru Road will have their termini at Fig Tree terminal A.
All PSVs from Jogoo road will use Muthurwa terminus, those from Mombasa road and Langata will have their station at Hakati terminus while all high capacity vehicles from upcountry will use Machakos terminus.
Matatus accessing the CBD from Thika Road and Kiambu road will be operating at Fig Tree terminal B while those accessing town using Juja Road, Ring road Ngara and Park Road will have their termini at Ngara Road terminus.
MATATU CBD BAN IMMATURE – SENATOR SAKAJA
Nairobi County Senator Johnson Sakaja has condemned Nairobi governor Mike Sonko for implementing the ban without providing alternative modes of transport for commuters.
“As I said yesterday and before. The move by Mike Sonko to ban matatus from the CBD is premature, and unfair to ordinary citizens. You don’t ban matatus before providing alternatives for commuters. MUST BE RESCINDED immediately and proper planning done,” Sakaja said in a tweet.
Sakaja has filed a case in court to suspend the matatu CBD ban, citing “lack of public participation and alternatives”.