Transport System to Cater for Persons with Disabilities  

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Africa, Transportation, February 4 2019

A physically disabled man walks with others to CBD after Nairobi county put to effect the ban of matatus in the CBD / MONICA NJERI

A man with a physical disability walks with others to CBD after Nairobi county put to effect the ban of matatus in the CBD / MONICA NJERI

KENYA: Nairobi county plans to revamp the public transport system to accommodate people living with disabilities.

The Public Road Transport and Traffic Management Bill 2018 suggests that priority in boarding and alighting be given to persons with disability, elderly persons, pregnant women, and other special-needs people.

It says PSV crews should reserve seats for people living with disabilities.

Eastleigh North MCA Osman Adow, who tabled the Bill in the assembly yesterday, told the Star physically challenged people should be treated with dignity.

“It pains me to see physically challenged people struggling to queue and to alight from buses. It is not their fault that they are challenged and they should be given the first priority,” Adow said.

He said expectant mothers should also be considered, especially when alighting because their bodies are delicate and a little struggle can hurt them.

The Bill covers the rights and obligations of passengers when boarding a PSV. It said the fare should not exceed the amount displayed on the vehicle.

During rainy and festive seasons, PSVs normally hike fares to compensate for fuel used up in traffic.

Last month, the National Transport and Safety Authority had warned PSV operators that they risk losing their licenses for hiking fares.

A press statement said, “Arbitrary increase of fares is contrary to the provision … An operator risks revocation of their road service license should the authority receive a report of such incident.”

The Bill says if a PSV experiences mechanical problems, gets damaged for any reason whatsoever and is unable to proceed,  passengers shall disembark. If they have already paid their fares, they should be refunded the full amount, it says.

Adow warned “notorious” PSVs that neglect passengers whenever the vehicle experiences mechanical problems. The Bill was tabled last month and is currently in the first reading stage.

Last month, Governor Sonko, through a gazette notice banned all public service vehicles from accessing the city center and designated 11 termini for the picking and dropping off passengers. This saw thousands of Nairobi residents, including pregnant women and physically and visually impaired persons, walk long distances to their places of work.

Originally posted on The Star.


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