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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

CBD matatu ban is product of reckless Jubilee policies

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BY EPHRAIM NJEGA: The CBD matatu ban is just another brainless and reckless policy by an incompetent and clueless government.

These ad hoc policies by Jubilee have intoxicated the business environment and massively disrupted honest paths to a living.

The transport sector has faced recent disruptions though high fuel taxes, enforcement of strict regulations without any plans and now the CBD matatu ban.

Expecting someone who lives in Eastlands and works in Westlands to alight at Muthurwa and walk to Fig tree terminus is not sensible. This is moreso when this has to happen at night without guaranteed security.

There is also no infrastructure to support walking masses. It is even harder for one to walk such distances when it is raining.

Most of the businesses in CBD will have to close shop as their catchment areas and business models will be disrupted. The CBD might end up less congested but with no business going on.

Every fool knows that traffic congestion is caused by private vehicles. Any de-congestion efforts must focus on reducing such vehicles from entering the CBD.

The CBD can also be de-congested by reorganising the flow of traffic in the streets, for example, by turning River Road and Tom Mboya into one way streets such that one is used to enter the CBD and the other to exit hence eradicating gridlock points.

The best options are to increase parking fees for private cars, re-organise traffic flow in CBD and create enough holding grounds/off street parking for Matatus.

Banning matatus from CBD without creating alternatives will never succeed. In the long run we must have an organised and efficient mass transport systems such as BRT and light rail.

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