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Thika Road to have lane dedicated to matatus – CS Macharia

Thika Road will from today have one lane dedicated for use by public service vehicles, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said.

Mr Macharia has told the Senate’s Roads Committee at an ongoing meeting that Thika Road is one of six corridors into the city identified by the authorities in a bid to reduce congestion in the capital city.

“We need more than 900 buses in these six corridors and because we don’t have them, we have opened one corridor, the Thika Highway, so that from today, we are starting the demarcation and dedication of that lane,” Mr Macharia said.

REDUCTION OF FARES

He said the expected effects would be a reduction of fares. Stakeholders had said the fare from Githurai, one of the densely populated areas, to the city centre should reduce to Sh40 at peak hours.

The plan is to encourage the entry of high-capacity buses into the city. The National Youth Service is looking to get the buses, built in the style of Bus Rapid Transport, to complement the 24 serving nine routes.

“We have engaged Treasury and they have said that if they bring proper BRT buses, we shall consider not charging them duty,” said Mr Macharia.

Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet yesterday told the same committee the roads on which the special lanes would be set aside have been identified.

FULL SUPPORT

“That is an exercise that is going on and we are in full support of the initiative launched by NYS under Operation Okoa Abiria. Over Easter, Kenha did a study to establish which lanes can be dedicated to use by PSVs. Not just NYS but all PSVs,” said Mr Boinnet.

The plan to set aside lanes for public service vehicles has been spoken of since the days the late Mutula Kilonzo took over as Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development in 2008, without any evident steps towards implementation.

The Senate team is considering a petition by Matatu Owners Association, which protested against the initiative launched on March 23.