Full capacity: the owners of Matatu undertake to respect the new measures
Stakeholders in the public transport sector welcomed the new directive to enable them to self-regulate and carry full capacity from today.
Transport Department Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Christopher Obure announced the news on Friday after meeting with stakeholders.
“We welcome the full capacity directive. We felt neglected when planes and trains were allowed to carry their full capacity. We do not plan to increase or reduce the tariffs as the price of fuel has not decreased, ” said Benard Mbwele, director of operations at Unified Poa Sacco, which operates the Nairobi-Thika link.
Mbwele said the matatus would have no problem implementing the rules put in place by the government as they are already aware of what is expected of them to curb the spread of Covid-19.
According to Mr. Edwin Mukabana, president of the Association of Bus Operators Kenya, more than 127,000 workers in the sector have lost their jobs so far.
Matatu Homeowners Association president Simon Kimutai welcomed the directive saying matatu owners have lost a lot of income since the start of the pandemic.
“With the kind of income we were getting at 40%, it was unsustainable and the industry was collapsing. Many people left the industry, jobs lost, vehicles auctioned off among other negative impacts. We will play our part in observing the new protocols, ” Kimutai said.
He called on passengers to do their part to ensure compliance with the measures and also urged traffic police officers to be strict in applying the new rules.
“It is up to us in the matatu sector, the public and the police to be patriots in playing our part to reduce the spread of the virus,” he said.
The public transport sector has been hard hit by Covid-19 containment measures since March 2020.