June 24, 2024
EXPLAINED: Why The Government Set To Remove 12,000 PSVs From Nairobi

EXPLAINED: Why The Government Set To Remove 12,000 PSVs From Nairobi

Patricia Mutheu, Chief Executive Officer of the Matatu Owners Association, announced plans on Thursday, May 23, to eliminate 14-seater matatus in Nairobi in order to create a more efficient transportation system throughout the city. 

In an interview with Spice FM, the association’s CEO addressed worries about congested stages in the city caused by an inflow of Public Service Vehicles (PSVs)

Currently, Nairobi has an estimated 15,000 matatus on 50 routes, with 14-seater matatus accounting for 80% of the total.

There are around 80,000 PSVs nationwide, with 60 percent of them operating in urban areas. 

Mutheu said that the steps were agreed upon during a meeting with government representatives, including Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NAMATA) officials. 

She applauded the move, describing it as unavoidable due to the growing population, but noted that careful planning would be required to carry it out.

“It is inevitable because of the growing population, especially in the Nairobi Metropolis. Instead of ten 14-seater matatus, there can be four 33-seater minibusses at a stage,” she explained.

The decision, however, aroused concerns about potential job cuts in the sector, as the buses would require fewer people to carry more passengers.

In reference to this, the association’s CEO stated that they are attempting to shorten the process so that they can include all of the people in their ecosystem.

Over a million people have been employed in the sector, including drivers and conductors.

Mutheu highlighted the matatu sector’s profitable character, which requires appropriate regulation to maximize income generation.

Corruption is believed to account for 30% of the total sum (approximately Ksh1.5 billion).

Mutheu proposed two options that are likely to address the bulk of concerns in the matatu sector: developing infrastructure and implementing a cashless system for all matatus.

“It’s a sector that needs a national dialogue such that if well structured, it can solve a lot of our needs. One can also capitalise on advertising as most of the matatus have TVs inside,” she added.

Mutheu identified one of the problems in establishing the cashless system as a lack of legislation.

“As much as we’re enforcing, we need a policy that regulates because not all Sacco members comply. When there’s a regulation, it’s easier to enforce,” she pointed out.

EXPLAINED: Why The Government Set To Remove 12,000 PSVs From Nairobi

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