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Nairobians trek to work as Matatu ban takes effect

As we had reported earlier,no matatu’s going to the CBD as from Monday, 3rd December!

Do you work in Nairobi’s Central Business District and use public transport?

And does your commute involve taking a connecting matatu from the CBD?

If your answer to either of the questions is in the affirmative, brace yourself for transport woes. This is after the City-County Government made changes in the OMNIBUS TERMINI and routes.

The ban took effect as early as 4.50am, with police and county traffic marshals blocking matatus from entering the city centre.

Their orders to matatu operators are swift and firm: Stop! Do not drive beyond this point.

Nairobians expressed their views on social media;

The officers are stopping and directing matatus seeking to enter the city centre to either make U turns or take the possible route officers patrolled the town centre, possibly to arrest any operators who might have sneaked into town

The biggest losers in the new directive are matatu operators, who will lose business; commuters, who will have to trek on unpaved roads and in bad weather’ and traders, who rely on matatus to ferry their merchandise to and from the CBD.

PSVs in the capital had vowed to defy the order issued last Thursday, raising fears of a possible clash with authorities.

Matatu owners had argued that Mr Sonko was rushing to implement an order without building capacity, and putting in place security, logistics and other amenities in the termini outside CBD.

Of major concern was the capacity of the new termini outside CBD to handle the over 20,000 matatus that operate in the capital.

“My members are not ready to move out until the county government meets their standards,” Association of Matatu Workers (AMW) chairman Clement Njuguna said on Saturday.

“The termini are too small to fit our vehicles and they have not reached our standards.”

However, Nairobi Transport executive Mohamed Dagane defended the decision, saying the termini will only act as pick-up and dropping-off points for passengers and not holding grounds for the matatus.

Every matatu, he said, will have between 10 and 40 minutes to drop off and pick up passengers.

Attempts to implement matatu ban in Nairobi CBD failed terribly in the past years and had to be suspended following negotiations between major stakeholders.

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