The county government of Nairobi made good its threat by banning Public Service Vehicles from entering Nairobi’s Central Business District beginning Monday.
The ban saw thousands of people within Nairobi walk to work after matatus were blocked from accessing the CBD. Traffic police and traffic marshals were on the road as early as 5 am to block and divert any PSV that planned to enter the CBD.
Thika Road was in a mess. All PSVs plying the highway were required to drop off passengers at Ngara Fig Tree market. By 6 am, the small bus terminus at Ngara was already full with no space remaining for the continuous inflow of other PSVs.
The footbridge at Ngara was packed to capacity with thousands of people trying to cross over after being dropped off by the matatus. It took the efforts of police officers who were deployed on the bridge to restore order among people who were pushing each other.
On Thursday, City Hall announced that no public service vehicle would be allowed into the Nairobi CBD to either pick up or drop off the passengers saying that it was due to the effect of the Gazette notice of May 12, 2017, that laid down specify termini that PSVs were to drop off passengers away from the CBD.
Following the poorly planned ban, PSVs that go past Ruiru but branch off before Kenol Town on Nyeri/Meru – Nairobi Road were on Monday blocked and forced to drop off passengers at Desai Road terminus.
PSVs that go past Kenol on the same Nyeri/Meru – Nairobi Road as well as all buses from upcountry were blocked at Park Road terminus. Those using Juja Road, Ring Road, and Park Road were forced to drop passengers at Ngara Road terminus.
All other high capacity vehicles taking people upcountry have been ordered to move to Machakos terminus while others such as City Hoppa, Kenya Bus Services will be at Central Bus Station.
PSVs using Mombasa Road and Lang’ata Road were forced to drop off passengers at Hakati while those from Ngong Road to drop off passengers at Railways station.
All the designated bus termini are away from the CBD, meaning thousands will still have a long distance to cover on foot and given that motorbikes are no longer allowed with the CBD, people have no choice but to walk.
As you walk, watch out. Muggers and pickpockets are having an early Christmas.
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