MIDEGA: It’s time to think about alternatives to our matatus
That abrupt strike by the folks running something that almost qualifies as an extortion ring ripped our corneas open to something that was already bleeding obvious — how an aspiring “world-class” metropolis does not yet have a functional system of public transport.
Let’s all grow a collective pair and tell the matatu industry where to shove it.
Sadly we cannot just boycott these things and find other options of getting around this city.
Yet it’s about time that conversation was had. Take car-pooling for example. There’s no point of going to work in your own car, with oppressive oil prices, exorbitant parking fees, and aneurysm-inducing traffic.
Share a car, reduce the traffic, save money and contribute to environmental conservation by reducing carbon emissions.
Carpooling is only a terrible idea if your partner is hell-bent on listening to those morning shows that add just slightly more value to your life than listening to a Kenrazy song.
But what about underground trains? No, thank you very much. Most Kenyans, myself included, have this deep aversion for the subterranean.
Getting under the hood of a car to fix something is scary enough. We believe the only time we’ll be six feet under is when we’ve joined the ranks of the dearly departed.
I still haven’t gotten around to the concept of basement parking, and one of the reasons I wouldn’t use the school library is the seating space in the basement.
Now imagine there’s a whole world under your feet. That’s just scary and very, what’s that word again? Un-African.
Yet these things have to get done. Sadly, railway projects have of late become suspects for being the proper avenues for white elephant projects.
For all you exercise buffs, walking and cycling to work is also an option. The only downside may be getting to the office in a sweaty mess.