Kenya: Car-Free Days a Farce Without Efficient Public Transport - Motorists

An aerial view of the Kenyatta Avenue - Uhuru highway roundabout.
29 January 2019

Nairobi — The Motorists Association of Kenya has strongly opposed the move by the Ministry of Transport to designate Wednesdays and Saturdays car-free days in the capital Nairobi.

Under the plan, vehicles will be barred from accessing the Central Business District.

Led by Executive Director Samuel Onyango, the association argues that Nairobi doesn't qualify to have a vehicle free-day since there is no efficient public transport which can be used as an alternative by private car owners.

"A car in Nairobi is a convenient mode of public transport and not a luxury. This is because there is no acceptable mode of public transport to carry the masses to and from work," he stated.

Onyango further said setting Wednesday which is a working day as car-free will sabotage movement of people to and from their places of work.

"Let the Minister of Transport and Nairobi Governor in close consultation with Governors of Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos work on a fool proof mass transit with requisite infrastructure to qualify to join other organized cities that have car free days," he said.

Cities that have car-free days have a park and walk or ride facilities.

While making the announcement on Monday, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said during the car-free days, hawkers will be allowed into the CBD to erect stores and do business.

Car-free days have been embraced by Rwanda but it happens every first Sunday of the month.

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