Africa: Commuters stranded as CBD matatu ban takes effect
Thousands of commuters were on Monday forced to walk several kilometres to connect matatus at various terminus away from the city.
Most city residents woke up to the transport crisis after law enforcers came out in large numbers to ensure total compliance to the ban from accessing the city centre.
On Thursday Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko directed PSVs accessing the CBD to drop off passengers outside the city centre.
Those plying Jogoo road were dropped off at City Stadium while those using Thika road, Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande and Limuru roads were dropped off at Fig tree Ngara and Museum Hill.
Matatus using Mombasa and Lang’ata Road dropped off passengers at Railways terminus.
Some boda boda operators were also not spared as they were arrested while trying to ferry commuters into the CBD.
Designated matatatu stations remained empty as no matatus had managed to access the CBD.
Speaking to the Star, commuters had mixed reactions on the ban.
“I actually thought the ban would be ignored but I was shocked when I realised I had to walk from City Stadium to CBD,” said Caroline Njoki .
“I have walked from Gikomba market to Railways and am heading towards Kitengela. I support the ban but the county government would have made sure that the terminus can accommodate the matatus,” another commuter Andrew Wamalwa said.
“Those from Jogoo road, prepare to walk from City Stadium to town. Armed men in uniform are here to prevent entry of PSV,” said Twitter user @JayjayMatu.
“As usual the incompetent regime just wakes up and makes abrupt changes without plan, no compensating controls to mitigate spill off. This month inflation has been driven by transport costs but no one care to address the mess,” @WASUPUh tweeted.
“Blocking matatus from entering CBD is not a solution, Mike Sonko come up with a good strategy,” @migueldanielah said.
However, Twitter fellow @Ambani_Ambani lauded the move by the county government saying matatu stages now need upgrades while pedestrian pathways need to be repaired.
By MELANIE MWANGI and MAUREEN KINYANJUI