11 April 2014

Kenya: Mombasa, Kwale Matatus Crisis Hits Commuters

Mombasa residents have for the second week faced a transport crisis following the continued crackdown on public transport vehicles. Majority of residents have been forced to walk to work, while others seek alternative modes of transport.

The Reformed Matatu Owners Association blamed the crisis on lack of enough digital speed governors in Mombasa among other issues. Speaking to the Star in Mombasa yesterday, the association's chairman Elvis Kipkoech said there is a shortage on the recommended digital speed governors.

He said efforts to purchase the garget in Nairobi have not been fruitful. Kipkoech said they have been told the digital gadgets are out of stock. "Majority of operators have opted to ground their vehicles to avoid being impounded for not complying with the rules. There is a major shortage on speed governors which has seen only 30 per cent of matatus comply with the traffic rules," he said.

Kipkoech said most matatus have complied with most rules including the Sacco rule, which demands that they belong to a Sacco with at least 30 serviceable vehicles. He said the few that have complied with safety requirements are still keeping off the road due to issues such as the multi-colour rule, which requires PSV's colour to match with the one on the logbook.

The association appealed to the Transport ministry, police and National Transport and Safety Authority to give more time on issues that are not affecting road safety.

"Some things like colour have no effect on road safety. We ask the government to look at the safety concerns first and once the vehicle is inspected for road worthiness, it should be allowed back on the road. The rest like colours can be changed with time. Let's be logical on these issues. Kenyans are suffering which is also hurting the economy," Kipkoech said.

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