What do you think should be done to improve public transport in Kenya?
This is what I think.
During Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka’s father’s burial, our President, during his time to speak, at some point said something to this effect (not verbatim), “Wanataka nijenge barabara lakini hawataki nikope [They (community leaders) want me to build roads yet they do not want me to borrow money].”
What the President was simply alluding to is the fact that we (Kenya) do not have enough money to ran our economy – we need to borrow. He went on to say such borrowing needs to be put to productive use. Now, back to my question, here is my view and what I would do if I was the governor of Nairobi (& had leeway on resource use): –
1 – I would borrow money to: acquire a fleet of vans & buses (through transparent procurement procedures to ensure affordability but quality nonetheless), create a task force to revamp the road infrastructure in the entire county (main roads)
2 – Form/hire a task force of professionals to come up with a project plan to implement my NATIONALISED TRANSPORT system (hoping the other 46 governors will adopt my model in their counties)
3 – The county-ran public transport system will operate on ALL routes in Nairobi at CHEAPER rates as well as follow ‘Michuki Rules’ – this way the matatu industry will be forced to improve their services or close-shop.
4 – Add parking fees to Ksh1,500 ($15) per day – the rationale here is that by then there will be a functional transport system in place so why should an individual who owns a car use it always? In any case if you own a car you can afford to pay $20 per day if you feel you need to come with it to the CBD. If you have children and need to use your car you could do so on weekends. On weekdays, we (county government) would ensure a safe & affordable school bus system for your children.
5 – Establish toll stations at strategic entry points to the city (Nairobi) where various types of vehicles pay to enter. The highest charged will be commercial vehicles. This money will contribute to paying back the loan along with the CBD parking fees.
6 – Have the task force above come up with a plan to absorb cabs and ‘boda boda’ operators into the infrastructure i.e. creating termini and tax-collection mechanisms for the revenue they generate
7 – Create a franchise system where all matatu owners can CHOOSE to work with the county government by providing their vehicles for use in compliance with the new system.