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Tough new rules to decongest city

Matatus will stop for only three minutes at terminals to pick passengers or have their licences revoked.

In a terse warning directed at public service stakeholders, Transport principal secretary Nduva Muli has asked governor Evans Kidero to also come up with clear routes, their  bus stops and terminals to reduce the chaos in the transport system by April when the new by-laws become effective.

“As we implement new PSV licences, the operator who does not play by the rules will be in hot soup. We will implement our guidelines, which are now law, with precision, without fear or favour,” he said yesterday morning at Sarova Panafric Hotel, Nairobi.

He was speaking during the launch of Nairobi Public Transit Map and Data which is expected to address the mayhem that describes the transport system.

The guidelines are found in the county government’s by-laws and, if implemented, will greatly improve transport.

“Our objective is to create a public transport system that can bring value to the public,” added Mr Muli.

Nairobi transport, which caters 3.5 million consumers, is dogged by congestion and accidents. Majority of the population rely on PSVs — also known as matatus — mostly composed of minivans and buses, to reach their destinations.

“We need to employ the allure of technology to beat traffic jams. We have the likes of Ma3route, Sonar and the digital matatu project…” said Prof Peter Waiganjo, University of Nairobi School of Computing and Informatics lecturer, who was involved in computation of the transit map and data.

Kenya Bus Service managing director Edwin Mukabana spoke out at the same event:“There should be clear definition of peri-urban, intra-urban and urban roads in order to adhere to the guidelines. If we are to see this work, we need good route planning.”

Estimates by UN-Habitat show Nairobi loses about Sh50-million in a day due to traffic congestion.