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Counties

Nairobi County to ban matatus from city centre in January

Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe November 22, 2017. PHOTO | FILE | NMG
Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe November 22, 2017. PHOTO | FILE | NMG 

The Nairobi County Government has reiterated that it will go ahead with plans to prohibit public service vehicles (PSVs) from operating within the central business district (CBD) starting next month.

All upcountry PSVs will have to terminate their journey outside the CBD starting January 2, 2018 while matatu saccos that operate within Nairobi will not be allowed to park in the city centre.

“If you have 200 vehicles and you have nowhere to park them, you better buy a piece of land to park your vehicles. There are some who have already bought a piece of land. If you don’t have a place to park then you should create a marshalling system where you call a matatu for pick and drop,” said Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe.

“I will be meeting all the stakeholders to agree on this. We are not going to debate it because the debate was held on August 8, we wrote it in our manifesto that we are going to make Nairobi a congestion free area. We cannot be a country where we debate things forever and delay implementation of issues”.

This isn't the first time Nairobi's new city fathers have vowed to ban PSVs from operating within the central business district. Governor Mike Sonko had given matatu owners till September before enforcing a ban on the passenger vehicles.

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However, he ceded to pressure from PSV owners and the public by suspending the planned expulsion the same month.

Decongestion

Mr Igathe termed the Nairobi Integrated Urban Transport Masterplan as the long-term measure for decongesting the city.

The Masterplan proposes to create a circular commuter rail using the current infrastructure. Already 10 stations are being created.

“We have a station in Makadara, Imara Daima. When you come from Syokimau – Athi River you arrive at central bus station, we shall connect to Thika. Connect from Githurai and create a market there – from Githurai we are making a new train line that goes to Kiambu which will connect to Limuru, then to Kikuyu and back to city centre. From city centre we shall create a loop line from Ngong, Kiserian into Kitengera, back to Athi River,” said Mr Igathe Friday.

The masterplan is expected to be implemented in the next 36 months with the World Bank having already provided the initial Sh3 billion towards this project.

Private cars

Private car owners will be the last to be affected by the changes.

“Private car owners will see a massive change in the next 12 months,” said Mr Igathe today.

The Nairobi metropolitan region comprises the counties of Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and to some extent Murang’a.

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