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Economy

City Hall bans new matatu saccos in decongestion drive

Tom Tinega
Nairobi's director of parking services Tom Tinega. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG 

City Hall has frozen registration of new matatu saccos in efforts to decongest the already stretched termini in the capital.

Under the measures announced Tuesday, owners of new matatus can only register their vehicles in existing 401 saccos currently plying various routes if they intend to operate in Nairobi.

Tom Tinega, director of parking services, said the county has already written to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) on the decision.

Nairobi, which is grappling with an overstretched public transport system had last December gazetted 11 new termini and scrapped dozens others in efforts to push matatus out of the city centre.

“The new entrants will be required to join existing saccos so as to utilise the already limited spaces and available termini,” Mr Tinega said in a letter to NTSA dated June 10.

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NTSA Director-General Francis Meja declined to comment on the matter saying they are yet to receive the letter from the county government.

“We have only seen it on social media. We will not comment until it is officially brought to our attention,” Mr Meja said yesterday.

The directive is likely to slow down the entry of new matatus into the city’s multibillion-shilling industry and also hit City Hall’s collections from parking spaces.

A bus pays Sh10,000 in monthly parking fees while a minibus parts with Sh8,000. A 14-seater pays the least at Sh5,000 for the same period.

This is the latest move to ease congestion. Last December, City Hall’s declaration of dozens of termini as illegal attracted protests.

The move by Governor Mike Sonko saw thousands of Nairobians walk from as far as Ngara to Kenyatta National Hospital despite their illnesses while those from Eastlands struggled to walk past the CBD to Westlands.

Mr Sonko later rescinded the decision, but there other plans to decongest the city including introduction of 64-high capacity buses under the Bus Rapid Transport) system.

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