Nairobi governor Mike Sonko has told commuters to be prepared to walk to the city centre as the matatu CBD ban took effect on Monday.
Sonko while appearing before the Senate Public Investment Committee asked commuters to be patient and support his efforts to decongest the city.
“I know people are suffering, I am just requesting for patience from commuters, we are going to work on an amicable permanent solution to address this issue,” he said.
“From Muthurwa to the CBD it’s just a walking distance, it is a one minute walk. Many people don’t go to the gym this is now part of the exercise,” he added.
The governor further said he consulted key stakeholders on the ban before enforcing it.
“We did a public participation and consulted all the key stakeholders. We will not allow matatu madness and boda-bodas in the CBD. We have to restore order and have the full support of the national government,” Sonko said.
However, matatu owners, Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria have all denied that there was consultation.
He said the government was working on providing BRT and NYS buses that would ease the situation especially on the physically challenged.
“This morning I just spoke to the President and we are looking for NYS buses to transport the physically challenged from their stages to CBD,” he said.
Roads Chief Officer Fredrick Karanja said the move to ban PSVs came after realising they occupy streets and are a major cause of congestion.
“Nairobi does not have a holding ground, this is not workable,” he said.
Karanja said transport in other countries is provided by the government or is subsided, something that the county will emulate.
He said there are other alternatives to get to town apart from matatus like the commuter rail.
“In the future, these matatus will actually be taking people to the rail station. We are making stations through assistance from the World Bank,” he said.
Karanja further said they will come up with a circular route each vehicle will have to comply with.
The Governor is set to appear before the Senate Transport Committee chaired by Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi on Wednesday to give more insights into the ban.