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Nairobi commuters trek to work as PSV ban takes effect

Monday December 3, 2018


Do you work in Nairobi’s Central Business District and use public transport to reach your work station?

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

newsinsudeIf your answer to either of the questions is in the affirmative, Governor Mike Sonko has bad news for you: You will either have to trek or take a taxi to reach your place of work.

These transport woes and heavy price of commute have been occasioned by City Hall ban on matatus from picking up and dropping off passengers in the CBD.

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

The armed security officers, some in full combat gear, were deployed to designated termini (outside CBD) that the Sonko administration directed matatus to operate from starting today.

The traffic marshals with clubs and police with guns and batons have mounted roadblocks at the termini, including Muthurwa, Muranga Road Fig Tree A, Desai Road, Ngara Road, Hakati, Railways and Central Bus Station.

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

The officers are stopping and directing matatus seeking to enter the city centre to either make U turns or take the possible route back.

At the City Stadium roundabout, police parked their Toyota Land cruisers to block a section of the CBD-bound traffic and all PSVs plying Jogoo Road had to drop off passengers at the Muthurwa terminus.

The situation was similar along Thika and Limuru roads, where majority of passengers disembarked at the Fig Tree Terminus A in Ngara as matatus.

In the city centre, most matatu termini, which are usually busy during the morning hours, were deserted.

There were no matatus and virtually no activity at Koja, Odeon, Kencom, GPO, OTC, Commercial, Ronald Ngala Street, Ambassadeur, Murang'a Road and other bus stops along River Road.

Hawk-eyed security officers patrolled the town centre, possibly to arrest any operators who might have sneaked into town.

Sources told the Nation that police had been briefed on Sunday concerning implementation of the ban, which has proved futile for several years.

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