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Nairobi MCAs pass bill to clampdown unruly matatus

Unruly public service vehicles in Nairobi have been put on notice.

Amid reports that most matatus have transformed highways and roundabouts in the capital to parking areas or pick and dropping points, Members of County Assembly (MCA) have approved a motion calling on City Hall and Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to clampdown on such vehicles.

The motion by Komarock MCA John Kamau wants the rogue matatu operators who illegally use the roundabouts punished.

Mr Kamau decried the persistent use of roundabouts by PSVs as termini which has continued to cause heavy tailbacks of traffic on key roads such as Outering road on daily basis leading to loss of productive time and value for public money and investments.

He pointed out that the Nairobi City County Traffic Act 2020 prohibits PSVs from picking and dropping passengers at undesignated bus stops with the Act further prohibiting persons from parking on public roads in a manner that impedes traffic flow and strictly.

“The County Executive and NMS should issue a public notice prohibiting public transport from using roundabouts as termini, lay-bays and parking areas with punitive measures against operators who defy the order,” said Mr Kamau.

Minority Whip Peter Imwatok cited Outer Ring Road and Globe Cinema roundabouts which have been turned into parking termini creating snarl-ups to Nairobi residents.

“If you go to Outer Ring Road you will find that the bus terminus operators or the brokers are the ones manning these termini,” said the Makongeni MCA.

Deputy Majority Leader Peter Wanyoike added: “If you happen to pass through Outer Ring Road roundabout to Dandora, you stay at that roundabout for an hour while you used seven minutes from Nairobi CBD. You can spend an hour or two due to these matatus picking and dropping passengers.”

Umoja I MCA Mark Mugambi said that most of the matatus using the roundabouts as their termini have designated picking and drop off areas but there are some unscrupulous county officers who give letters for pickup and drop off in undesignated areas.

This besides walk ways also being converted to picking and dropping off points by matatus leaving pedestrians competing for walking spaces with the matatus.

He added that traders are also complaining that the loading zones which they pay for annually have been turned into picking and dropping off points by matatus.

“For instance, at the Globe roundabout next to the fires station, you find a roundabout that has been turned into a picking and dropping off zone,” he said.