The government has clarified that night travel by public service vehicles has not been banned but operators will be required to meet certain conditions before they are allowed to operate.
The new rules will come into effect from April 1, according to Transport PS Nduva muli. "Night travel has not been banned. It has been regulated," muli said. "From April 1, even normal operators will be regulated and all of them know that."
The government will not license any operator without an office and who is not in a sacco with a minimum of 30 vehicles. "Operators will be required to have a control room to track their vehicles throughout their trip. The vehicle must also be manned by two drivers who are licensed to operate on a particular route. They need to be tested on that route," the PS said.
Operators will also be required to have a specific timetable with regulated stops. They will also be required to provide a manifest that lists the cargo, passengers and the crew on a vehicle. This manifest should be available to the National Transport and Safety authority online. "Night travel operators must also have back-up rescue in case their vehicle develops mechanical problems."
For a long time, Kenyans have been carried like cabbages on our roads and this is unacceptable," the PS said. He said once they provide the required information, they can be licensed to operate at night.
Muli said the government is to instilling a culture of self regulation in the matatu industry, which has been plagued by corruption through collision between operators and the police.