The Nation (Nairobi)

Kenya: PSVs in Nairobi Earmarked for Census

A census of matatus will be carried out in Nairobi with a view to impose regulations on fair competition.

This is expected to ease traffic congestion and "wasteful competition" among investors through optimal allocation of routes.

The Ministry of Transport is looking for an organisation to carry out the census to establish the number of mataus and buses in various routes.

The study will also evaluate PSV workers by gathering data on their age, driver education or training, daily or monthly earnings and their compliance with transport rules and regulations.

"For many years, the Transport Licensing Board has licensed and regulated PSVs without reliable data on how many vehicles are needed per route to meet demand.

"Any vehicle which met licensing requirements was licensed," an advertisement appearing in Friday newspapers and calling for tender to carry out the survey reads.

"For effective regulation, the board should have information on the number of PSVs which should be licensed per route or allowed to terminate at particular termini."

Improve operations

According to the ministry, this will welcome order in the industry.

Recommendations will be made regarding termini and bus stops, their capacities and management systems needed to improve operations.

Matatu Welfare Association chairman Dickson Mbugua said collection of data on the transport sector was long overdue.

"Some routes are over saturated resulting in diminishing returns. You have too many vehicles chasing very few passengers which spells doom to investors," he said.

He called on the government to set up a research department in the ministry to provide up-to-date data on the industry.

The study will also look at public transport demand at different times of the day.

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