Shipping & Logistics

Night travel ban reached without consulting transporters

NTSA director-general Francis Meja. FILE PHOTO | NMG
NTSA director-general Francis Meja. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has defended the ban of night travel as it emerged that bus companies were not consulted.

In a statement Tuesday, NTSA director-general Francis Meja said the ban was arrived at after “careful consideration and discussions” involving the agency, the police, and the ministries of Transport and Interior.

He did not, however, clarify why the operators of PSVs were not consulted before the ban was implemented and how long it would last.

We were unable to get comments from Mr Meja by the time of going to Press Tuesday evening.

“The National Police and NTSA, after consultation with the CS Transport and CS Interior found it necessary to come to this decision for public good and safety,” the NTSA said.

“We regret the inconvenience caused by the suspension, however, the need to review the current road safety measures is paramount to both NTSA and the police,” said the NTSA in a statement on Monday.

The safety agency on Sunday banned long distance night travel of PSVs following an accident at Migaa, between Salgaa and Sachang’wan, claiming 36 lives.

In a statement released on Sunday, Mr Meja noted that their report indicated that majority of crashes occurred during the night.

All travel operators were then ordered to reschedule their trips between 6am and 7pm, causing confusion at booking offices across the country when travellers thronged the premises, fearing delays.

Hundreds of passengers have been since stranded in the hitch and raising fares as demand went up.

For instance, for the 350km journey between Kisumu and Nairobi, buses charged between Sh2,000 and Sh2,800, up from the usual Sh1, 000 to Sh1,500.

From Kisumu to Mombasa, a distance of 800km, the fares were Sh3,500, up from Sh2,000.