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February 22, 2019

Time to regulate boda boda riders

Boda boda operators. /FILE
Boda boda operators. /FILE

Fighting has broken out in Nyanza between matatus and boda boda riders (see P29).

A matatu was burned after it collided with a boda boda, and then matatu drivers destroyed 10 motorcycles.

Matatus and bodas compete for business so it is not surprising that tempers can flare up. Both provide a useful service — matatus offer cheap trips for longer distances, and bodas are good for shorter trips.

But unlike matatus that belong to saccos, bodas are essentially unregulated. They are already starting to congest urban areas outside Nairobi. And they are often linked to crime because of their anonymity, speed and manoeuvrability.

In Uganda boda bodas are getting out of control and have been linked to a recent flare up in violence. In Rwanda, by contrast, they are tightly regulated — they have to wear numbered jackets and provide helmets to their customers.

Boda boda motorcycles are convenient but the NTSA should bring in rules and regulations to ensure they do not become unmanageable.

Quote of the day: "The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler."

Franz Kafka, The Czech-Austrian author was born on June 3, 1883.






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