PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Matatus should be allowed into CBD

In Summary

• As part of the new Nairobi public transport network, matatus will be required to end their journeys at termini outside the CBD

• Globally, most commuters prefer to use public transport because it is faster and cheaper than a private car

Matatus lining up at the Rongai station within Green Park terminus on May 28
ALL ABOARD: Matatus lining up at the Rongai station within Green Park terminus on May 28
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Public transport is good. It makes a city more liveable for residents and faster to get to work. Globally, even more prosperous workers use public transport because it is faster than a private car.

It is therefore commendable that Nairobi Metropolitan Services has been working hard to improve public transport by creating bus lanes on major highways and bus termini around the city.

These termini, including Green Park, will start opening next week. At that point, matatus will no longer be allowed into the CBD.

But is this right? Matatus are public transport, even though they are despised by many. Why should private cars with one or two passengers be allowed into the CBD but matatus with 10 passengers be denied entrance?

It should be the other way around. Passenger cars should not be allowed into the CBD and should be required to park outside the city centre. Drivers and passengers could then use matatus or other public transport to get to their final destination in the CBD.

As it stands, the new system favours car owners and forces matatu passengers to walk long distances to reach their final destination inside the CBD.

Quote of the day: "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative."

John Stuart Mill
The English philosopher was born on May 20, 1826