Matatu owners reject 14-seater PSVs phase out plan

Matatu owners from Nairobi and Central Kenya have vowed to reject the government’s scheme to introduce Bus Rapid Transport BRT buses aimed at decongesting Kenyan roads.

They want the government to defer the procurement of buses for ten years to allow for adequate preparations.

The transport sector stakeholders who made the declaration at Ruiru stadium claimed that the government did not follow due process in arriving at the decision.

Led by Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu who was installed as their patron, the Matatu owners drawn from Kiambu, Murang’a, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Kajiado, Nairobi, Machakos and Nyeri complained that the government has been formulating transport sector related policies without their inclusion which they said was hurting their investment.

This they said has led to more corruption in the sector.

They rejected the phasing out of 14-seater matatus saying it will increase the rate of unemployment.

They however called for the streamlining of the sector to restore discipline.

A petition challenging phase out of low capacity public service vehicles was filed earlier this month at the high court.

24 matatu saccos through lawyer Mugo Githinji, argue that the  actions  of the National Transport Safety  Authority (NTSA) are aimed at oppressing them in a bid to compel them to support the planned Rapid Bus Transport Scheme without a legislative framework for its implementation.

Utimo Sacco, Walokana Sacco and Runka Sacco also filed a similar petition seeking orders blocking NTSA from implementing the phase out plan.

This move by the saccos comes after NTSA stopped the licensing of 14-seater matatus, throwing into confusion thousands of investors who operate on various routes across the country.

Only 24 out of nearly 200 14-seater matatu saccos that last month obtained temporary court orders stopping the regulator from denying them licences are having their operating permits renewed.

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