Nairobi residents were yesterday forced to wait for long hours as a police crackdown kept faulty matatus off the road.
following the return of the famous ‘Michuki rules’ that saw many matatu operators keep off the roads with the fear the ongoing police crackdown on non-compliant vehicles.
Commuters were compelled to pay higher fares to get to their workplaces. The traffic regulations, published in the Kenya Gazette by former Transport Minister John Michuki in 2003, require every public service vehicle (PSV) to fix a speed governor of 80 kilometres per hour. The rules require matatus to have seatbelts for all passengers, as well as a defined passenger capacity to prevent overloading.
Drivers must display their photos in the matatu to prevent fake drivers from operating public service vehicles. Some residents of Embakasi, Thika Road, Kawangware, Mathare and Kayole, opted to use motorcycles to travel to work in town while others had to wait until 10 am to catch a matatu to the CBD.
“Despite waiting for a matatu for two hours, I had to pay Sh100 from Mukuru Kayaba to town. We normally pay between Sh30 to Sh50 in the morning,” Embakasi resident Joseph Geto said.
Samuel Kariuki, a resident of Kahawa Sukari, said the situation compelled him to pay a motorist Sh600 to town although they normally pay matatus between Sh50 to Sh70 at peak hours.
“It is very costly because I have to adjust my budget to meet the transport cost. And if I don’t go to work or arrive late, the boss can dismiss me,” he said.
Residents of Kawangware paid Sh100 to town up from the normal Sh 60 during the peak hours while those in Kayole parted with Sh150 to town up from the normal Sh70 during peak hours.
Mathare resident Esther Mweni said they paid Sh100 to the CBD up from the normal Sh50 during peak hours. “There were few vehicles in the morning and there is nothing we could do,” Esther said.