The operators for public transport have agreed to use cashless payment systems to avoid losing their licences for failing to observe government advisories on Covid-19.
According to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which was signed on Sunday between public service vehicle Saccos and companies and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), the operators also approved that only available seats will be filled with no other seats created and everyone will wear mask throughout the journey to avoid Covid-19 transmission.
Similarly, the MoU that was signed by 10 representatives in the matatu industry and in the Health, Transport, and Interior ministries also stated that there will be no eating, drinking or smoking in the vehicles to ensure masks are worn throughout.
“Hawking, preaching and begging on board are prohibited to reduce risk of infection in transit and the vehicles should minimise stopovers and picking people while on transit,” stated the MoU.
However, all passengers will have to sanitise and have their temperature taken before boarding and during the trip, all windows will be open for fresh air and to minimise air recirculation.
At the same time, the matatu and bus operators also agreed to introduce internal hotline communication numbers displayed for use by commuters in case of any incidents.
Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the agreement is a binding document and by signing it, the matatu owners agreed to take responsibility and ownership and any matatu found not complying with Covid-19 protocols will be face penalties.
“They are aware of the protocols and if any vehicle fails to comply, then the licence of the whole Sacco will be revoked. That’s why the leaders had to sign and pass the information to all the Saccos,” said CS Macharia.