City commuters stranded in day two of matatu crackdown
Hundreds of passengers were stranded in various parts of Nairobi as matatus operators kept off the roads for fear of arrest.
And for the few that were available, the fares had been drastically hiked on some routes.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and his Interior Counterpart Fred Matiang’i had last month announced the return of “Michuki Rules”.
The rules, introduced by the no-nonsense powerful Cabinet minister John Michuki in 2003, will be enforced with more ruthlessness and discipline, the two ministers said.
The notice said public service vehicles will have to be fitted with speed governors, safety belts and painted with a yellow line.
Similarly, all PSV drivers and conductors will be required to wear uniforms and badges and prominently display their photos in the vehicles.
The matatu operators were given up to November 12, to comply with the rules.
Traffic updates by Twitter handle Ma3Route said there very few matatus on Outer Ring Road and fareS had been hiked.
“The situation is bad, people are stranded Michuki Spirits on duty. Less matatus na hazifiki town mwisho Ni Cabanas,” read one tweet on the situation on Mombasa Road.
“It’s a walking nation on Waiyaki Way. Many passengers stranded on the various stages other deciding to walk,” read another tweet.
It was the same situation in Ngong Road as commuters were stranded for lack of matatus. The vehicles that were available had doubled fares.
The fares are normally between Sh70 and Sh100, depending on the time, but they were charging between Sh150 and Sh200 as traffic police started the crackdown on vehicles that are not compliant with ‘Michuki rules’.
Some private vehicles took advantage of the situation and ferried passengers to town.
In Kasarani, only one operator- Mwiki Sacco Limited- was operating early morning. The vehicles were charging between Sh150 and Sh200 to town.
The matatus were also not entering the CBD, instead, they were dropping passengers at Ngara. There was heavy traffic on Thika Road as people opted to use their private vehicles.