Commuters using Thika Superhighway will now spend less time travelling to or from Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) following a decision by Ministry of Transport to dedicate one lane on the two sides of the road to Public Service Vehicles (PSV) starting today.
Announcing the historic decision today, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the change in road use will affect operations along the busy Thika Road and is aimed at reducing traffic jam on the superhighway.
Matatu operators immediately welcomed the decision saying it will reduce traffic jam on the road that serves a section of Nairobi Eastland as well as surburbs.
“This is a welcome move because it means the government has come to the realisation that private vehicles are responsible for traffic gridlocks in the city,” said Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai.
Kimutai said the decision would also reduce the cost of fuel for matatus as they will spend less time on the road and urged the government to extend dedicated lanes to other major roads in the city.
This is the first time in the history of Kenya that commuters are given preference in road use although dedicated lanes are a common feature in other African cities such as Cape Town, Lagos, Tunis, Algiers, Casablanca.