Transport was Monday morning paralysed across the country after Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operators withdrew their services to protest return of ‘Michuki rules.
Most of passengers were forced to look for alternative means of reaching their destinations after PSV operators withdrew their vehicles from roads following the ongoing crackdown on matatus flaunting traffic rules.
A spot check by KBC in Nairobi established that most passengers were left stranded on city routes following the Matatu strike and other parts of the country.
Commuters took to social media to air their frustrations about the hiked fares, with some claiming they were being charged as much as 350 shillings to get to Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).
Interior Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i on Sunday vowed to stop what he termed as ‘idiocy, and madness’ in the sector.
Meanwhile, in Embu County, traffic police officers were on the roads as early as 5.00am to inspect public service vehicles that have not complied with traffic rules and regulations.
However, PSV operators are blaming police officers for harassing them despite having complied with all the rules and regulations contained in the traffic Act. The operators claimed that they woke up early in the morning but they have ended up parking their vehicles after the police officers started demanding for bribes.
Most operators had parked their vehicles in main bus stops in Runyenyes, Kiritiri, Kitui, Machakos, Nairobi, Thika and Nyeri bus termini. Passengers who were leaving for work early morning and those travelling for long distances were stranded with no means of transport available.
At the same time, Transport cabinet secretary James Macharia has directed the Kenya Railways Corporation to increase the number and frequency of commuter trains on all routes in Nairobi to cushion commuters who have been left stranded after Matatu operators kept off the roads following the implementation of the Michuki rules.
In a statement, Macharia also directed Kenya Railways to reduce train fares by 10 percent until public transport resumes normal operation. He called on members of the public to be in solidarity with the government as it strives to restore sanity on our roads.
Meanwhile, the National Police Service is calling on members of public to send compliments/complaints against Police officers anonymously for free by calling 0800721230,sending SMS to 40683 or by dialing *683# as the government embark on operations to restore sanity on our roads.