PSV drivers get AlcoBlow tests as schools open

Keep children safe and drunk PSV drivers off the road, Macharia says

In Summary

• CS said  robust measures aim to curb road accidents and protect school going children.

•As at December 13, 2020, 3,663 people had lost their lives in road accidents - 9.4 per cent higher than the same period in 2019. 


Transport CS James Macharia at KICC January 3. .
ALCOBLOW" Transport CS James Macharia at KICC January 3. .

All PSV drivers will be required to take regular blood alcohol tests as schools resume and children's safety is paramount.

Transport CS James Macharia said on Sunday his ministry has put in place robust measures to protect children returning to school on Monday. Many take public transportation.

"Drivers will not travel long distance to avoid fatigue," Macharia said during a  briefing at KICC by a multi-agency team on full reopening of schools.

Other drivers are also expected to be tested.

Present during the briefing were CSs Dr Matiang'i (interior) Mutahi Kagwe (Health), George Magoha (Education), Sicily Kariuki (Water), Joe Mucheru (ICT) and others.

Schools were closed in mid-March last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 17 million students missed as many as nine months of formal education.

Macharia said the transport sector remains key in both transmitting the coronavirus and mitigating its spread.

He said 90 per cent of travellers use public transport.

Macharia said in the last two days, his ministry has been involving key stakeholders in public transport system.

The Matatu Owners Association has agreed to have all drivers tested for blood alcohol content, he saud

The CS said they agreed the fare will not be hiked because parents are already reeling from the economic impact of Covid-19.

The CS said the Standard Gauge Railway and Meter Gauge Railway will help complement matatu transportation.

Macharia said Kenya Railways will double inter-county trains.

"The Kenya Railways will have full intracity trains. We have 20 trains running tomorrow (Monday) and we expect to move 60,000 passengers back to school," the CS said.

Macharia said two trains will be coming from Mombasa daily while another two will be leaving Nairobi for Mombasa.

"They will be inter-county trains. All the trains coming to Nairobi will be stopping at seven stations," he said.

Macharia said the newly refurbished Nairobi-Nanyuki Metre Gauge line will carry 1,500 students and their parents.

The line was refurbished last year for Sh1.8 billion.

In November last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Nairobi Commuter Rail System.

The system consists of new diesel trains and commuter rail buses.

The Nairobi Central Station serves as the nerve centre of operations connecting to 10 stations in satellite towns, including newly built stations in Donholm and Pipeline.

Commuter trains run on the Nairobi-Imara Daima-Syokimau route, Nairobi- Githurai-Mwiki-Kahawa-Ruiru route, Nairobi-Embakasi route and the Nairobi-Kibera-Kikuyu route.

Kenya Railways serves as many as 230,000 passengers daily.

The project has been described as a game changer in reducing both vehicular and human traffic jams .

Passengers are expected to save time and money and enjoy comfort.

The commuter rail is part of the Master Plan of an integrated commuter system within the city and its environs.

It also comprises the Bus Rapid Transit, monorail and underground rail.

Kenya Railways Managing Director Phillip Mainga had earlier said that on average they move 30,000 to 40,000 passengers through the station daily.

He said every day Kenya Railways is operating a minimum of three trains in the morning and another three in the evening, on all routes

Kenya Railways has purchased 11 diesel trains.

(Edited by V. Graham)