Matatus get one month to continue accessing CBD

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has ceded to pleas by matatu owners to suspend the ban on public service vehicles in the city centre for a month.

Mr Sonko gave the matatu owners a one-month reprieve to regulate the traffic of their vehicles in the Central Business District.

He vowed to enforce the ban if the matatu owners would not have worked out a strategy by end of the grace period. He made the concession after a two-hour meeting with matatu owners at City Hall on Monday.

Among the suggestions floated at the meeting was the matatus dropping off passengers at roundabouts near CBD. The governor, however, directed that no matatus will be allowed to double park or obstruct traffic within the CBD within the one month.

The matatus will also not play loud music while picking up or dropping passengers in town.

Mr Sonko further confirmed he will deploy 300 traffic marshals on Wednesday to ensure free flow of traffic in the city centre.

He revealed how he had arranged with the national government to provide 400 National Youth Service buses to provide transport in the event of a boycott by the matatu owners.

Any matatus blocking the roads would have been towed, he said.

“I have directed no obstruction, noise pollution, and U-turn, let those with loud music play it after they leave CBD, let’s respect businesses in the city,” said Mr Sonko.

He added that matatus accessing CBD should test temporary measures like dropping passengers at roundabouts on the edges of the city centre.

“This is just a proposal. If they must enter CBD let them drop in various roundabouts at the Haile Selassie, Globe Cinema, University Way and others and see if it works.”