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Workers to report back late over transport crisis

Thousands of Nairobi residents will resume work late by up to a week owing to the government ban on the night travel, transport companies have warned.

It will be the same story for students who travelled upcountry as they will have to wait longer after their travel dates were rescheduled following the new rule.

“We have had to revise our schedules because of the ban, the revision covers a period of one week before normal booking can resume,” said Transline Classic bus manager Paul Nyareru.

Transline buses ply have a heavy presence in western and coastal regions, though they ply many parts of the country.

Standards

Mr Nyareru accused the chairman of the National Transport and Safety Authority Lee Kinyanjui of refusing allow them to ferry people at night even after they met all the set standards.

“Why would it be hard to grant us the greenlight as far as night travels is concerned when we have complied with all the stipulated conditions?” he posed

But Mr Kinyanjui insists the ban will remain in place, saying many lives have been spared since it took effect.

“It will remain in place for now, we believe it has been instrumental in containing road carnage,” he told Nairobi News.

It was the same story at Western Express and Crown bus companies, which are struggling to get additional buses for some routes where the who situation is desperate for those who had booked their tickets, but are now are stranded.

Mr Moses Indasi of Western Express said they were overwhelmed by calls from the countryside to send more buses, something he says has cost them a lot of unplanned for money.

“Currently, few people are travelling from Nairobi to these areas. It then means that sending a bus from here is like burning fuel with no passengers to replace it,” he lamented

Mr James Lubanga, a casual worker in Nairobi’s Industrial area who is stuck in Malaba told Nairobi News that he feared losing his job if the bus company with which he had booked a ticket failed to send a bus urgently.

“I have a very strict supervisor and although he had initially agreed to give me two extra days off, I fear that continued stay here would earn me a sack,” Mr Lubanga said.

Mash Bus Company director Abeid Said said the firm was incurring huge losses due to the ban.

“We are hardly making any sales, but simply clearing the backlog. We are a day or two behind schedule and this has really affected our business,” he said.

Matatu Welfare Association Chairman Dickson Mbugua accused the government of infringing on the rights of commuters and matatu.

“It would have been prudent for the government to give us a timeline for implementation of the directive as opposed to just making the announcement and immediately rolling out a crackdown,” Mr Mbugua said.

He wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and extend the operation hours to 10.30pm instead of the current 9pm.