Many trek as police and county askaris block matatus from accessing CBD in new ban on PSVs :: Kenya


Stranded commuters throng Ngara Bridge as PSVs are barred from accessing CBD. [Photo: Courtesy]

The ban on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) from entering the city centre took effect Monday morning with dozens of police and county askaris being deployed at major entry points.

They barred the matatus from entering the Central Business District vowing to sustain the operation.

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This saw many commuters who were dropped far away from the city centre especially on Thika Road walking to the city centre.

Matatu operators had asked for more time to provide enough space to hold all vehicles operating in the city.

Commuters trek to Nairobi CBD along Waiyaki Way, after being dropped at new designated bus termini. [Photos: Courtesy]

The ban compels all matatus to operate from designated termini without entering the Central Business District to pick up and drop passengers.

City Hall officials say that the provided termini – which have 505 parking slots – will only act as pick-up and dropping points for passengers and not holding grounds for the matatus with each PSV given between 10 and 40 minutes at a time.

Nairobi City askaris clamp a matatu belonging Prestige Shuttle at the CBD. [Photo: Courtesy]

The operators threatened to seek a legal redress if the county authorities did not listen to them and suspend the ban setting up stage for a chaotic capital city but City Hally maintains that there is no going back on the order.

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Many commutters were seen walking to and from the termini in the morning hours. They fear things will get worse when it rains.

The ban is part of plans by the county government to address congestion in the CBD. More than 300 police officers have been assigned to ensure the ban is effective. This will be in addition to similar number of county traffic marshals.

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By Kenyan Digest

The Kenyan Digest Team