Matatus step up bid to stop relocation from Nairobi CBD

A matatu parked on Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi. file photo | nmg
A matatu parked on Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi. file photo | nmg 

The Matatu Welfare Association has moved to stop the Nairobi county government from transferring Public Service Vehicles termini outside the city’s central business district.

In a suit filed at the High Court on Thursday, the association indicated that it wants the status quo maintained on grounds that the new PSV termini require renovation.

“The termini the Nairobi County government intends to relocate PSVs to are totally inhabitable and impractical to utilize given their current state and as such it is paramount that the sued party holds the relocation until all stakeholders have taken part or the new areas are renovated to fit the purpose,” said the association lawyer Joseph Angwenyi.

The association through its chair Dickson Mbugua also said the new termini are too small to accommodate half of the matatus in one Sacco.

In case documents, Mr Mbugua claimed the new termini have potholes that render them unusable, while some are being used as market places and are all far away from the CBD.

He further argued that there are no sufficient alternative means of ferrying people from the new termini to CBD.

Last year, the Nairobi County government issued a circular implementing a gazette notice which indicated that all matatus carrying less than 60 passengers would be barred from entering the CBD.

The county government said the move was intended to have matatus drop and pick passengers at designated termini outside the city centre to ease traffic.

In the notice, all matatus accessing the CBD from Waiyaki Way or Uhuru Highway, Kipande Road and Limuru Road are to terminate at Murang’a Road or Fig Tree terminus A.

Those coming from Thika Road, Kiambu Road and Ruiru are to be dropped off at Murang’a Road (Fig Tree) terminus B.

Vehicles using Juja Road, Ring Road and Park Road are to drop off passengers at the Ngara Road terminus as vehicles from Jogoo Road and Lusaka Road will terminate their journey at Muthurwa Market.

Matatus plying Mombasa and Langata roads are to drop off passengers at Hakati terminus, while the Railways terminus will be left for PSVs from Ngong Road.

The notice also indicated that all high capacity vehicles from upcountry will be relocated to Machakos terminus while diametric routes will operate from the central bus station.

On April 23, Nairobi County government warned that it will not issue any other notification to PSV operators with regards to the relocation of new termini.