Matatu operators clinging onto 14-seaters

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29 – The Matatu Welfare Association (MWA) has called on the government to rescind the 14 seater phase out policy and allow market forces to drive the gradual transition to bigger the public service vehicles (PSV).

The association’s Chairman Dickson Mbugua said with most 14 seater investors unable to afford the required bigger buses in a limited amount of time, the transition for most is not feasible and would lead to major job losses.

“The price of a 37-seater bus now is Sh4.2 million. How many of the 14 seater owners can afford the Sh2.1 million, 50 percent deposit for a bus? The existence of the 14 seater alongside the buses should be allowed,” he asserted.

The MWA estimates that 500,000 persons will be out of work in the next two years if the policy is to go through this year.

The Transport Licensing Board (TLB) stopped issuing new licenses for 14-seaters in January last year in a move to decongest the roads by bringing in higher capacity PSVs.

Following their general meeting on 11th January 2012 the MWA gave the Transport Minister two months to reverse the policy.

“We gave an ultimatum of two months. Failure to which we may end up going to the court to seek a judicial review on the policy,” Mbugua said.

He further urged the government to allow registration for new 14 seaters adding that improved infrastructure was a necessary component in easing the congestion on the roads.

“The government needs to create bus rapid transport system so that along the improved bus terminus we will have the corridor for the buses as well as a corridor for the 14 seater and the train,” he said.

As part of the Vision 2030 transportation plan to improve accessibility within the metropolitan region a new bus system has been formulated with designated bus lanes.

The bus rapid transit system will start with three transport corridors; Athi River town to Kikuyu town, Thika to the central business district (CBD) and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the CBD.

Victoria Rubadiri

Victoria Rubadiri

Victoria is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. She has experience working as a freelance PR consultant in New Jersey and New York, as well as broadcast media at WMGM NBC 40 television station in Linwood, New Jersey. Her interests are in youth issues; mentoring teens both in the US and Kenya, for the past three years.

  • Kiharakariuki69

    Enough is enough. Matatu madness must end.Hon. Kimunya kaa ngumu kama mzee Michuki.

  • Nyakio

    May I ask who is Mbugua kidding. He is just thinking about his own pockets. My question is who is ever thinking about the commuter? the person who actually has to take these vehicles. The 14 seaters need to be phased out but at the same time I ask who regulates public transport? who is the cck of public transport? because then Mbugua would not be going to court and giving such ultimatums if there was a body mandated to regulate. 
    The commuter would also have a say and a place to complain. These so called saccos & limited companies, that have been formed, what use are they, other than a compliance issue and not one that works because psv’s are still run by one owner.

    This is when public transport needs to be regulated, I applaud the government for the infrastructure but there is a missing link in regards to public transport that need to be addressed asap.It is time the public transport is a public/ private partnership and not run by selfish businesspersons who are in it for profit.

  • Archivevan

    But always remember the traffic jams caused by 14 seaters and the high fares. 14 seaters must go.

  • JM

    These 14 seaters are the ones exploiting the public,they charge high fares and there must be tamed by being phased out,Why should i pay 100 -14 seater  to Kiambu,when a person going to Githurai is on a bus is paying 30 and the distance is more or less the same?????????????????????/

  • Anonymous

    Everyone is taking advantage of the new constitution. They know that if they make a little noise and go to court, the decision may be reversed. Where does that leave the majority who want these 14 seaters to go? If the industry em[ploys 500, 000 people, do these people even pay taxes to maintain the roads?

  • Mark

    and now the madness shifts to the mini buses. If you are a frequent user of Ngong rd you might have an idea. The MOAs came out with all the retards in the industry that they are no longer safer and comfortable like they used to. They lost class! They overspeed, overlap, overcharge on claims “gari ni ya mkubwa” yep, sadly they own the Ngong road. They switch drivers to add more insult and pick stage idlers (thugs) to act as touts on a 10bob fee!
     I agree @Nyakio the government should come up with a way of regulating fares,sometimes it becomes too exorbitant .