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Nairobi transit map launched

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY GILBERT KOECH AND CHRISPINUS WEKESA

The Kenya Alliance of Residents Association in partnership with Nairobi county government yesterday launched the Nairobi Transit Map. The map contains information that will help commuters better understand their neighbourhood and city in terms of designated bus stops, matatu stages and routes. It also contains matatu lines and their respective numbers.

The data and the map were the brainchild of the Center for Sustainable Urban Development of the Earth Institute – Columbia University, Nairobi University School of Computing and Informatics and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Speaking during the launch at a Nairobi hotel, Transport PS Nduva Muli praised the map and data. He said it provides critical information that will develop a more organised, reliable transport system in Nairobi.

Muli said the information will aid policy makers in Nairobi to create a system that will be acceptable by all. "It is critical for policy makers, academia, and operators to work together and create a system that will help decongest our city," he said.

Muli blamed the public transport operators for causing traffic snarl-ups in the city centre especially when drivers park their vehicles and go to run errands. He said the city by laws do not allow public service vehicles to be parked at a terminus for more than 20 minutes and a bus stop for more that two minutes.

The PS said city by-laws have never been fully implemented. "City by-laws must be implemented in letter and spirit. As we implement PSV laws, every operator who does not follow the rules will have his license withdrawn," he said.

Muli urged all PSV operators to ensure they have digitised speed governors before April 1 or they will be arrested and charged in court.

"All public service vehicles must have speed governors fitted before April 1. We have noted a decline in road carnage due to breathalysers and speed governors. We need to ensure that a working transport system is in place," he said.

Nairobi county Roads executive Evans Ondieki said the information generated from those who came up with the map will help decongest Nairobi. He said transport congestion is the biggest hindrance to Kenya's economic development.