Nakuru taxi operators struggle against transport reforms

The proximity of taxi drivers to customers is always an asset for business. [iStockphoto]

Digital and traditional taxi drivers in Nakuru town have opposed the county government’s plan to eliminate vehicle parking in the central business district.

This follows the introduction of the 80 million shillings non-motorized transport (NMT) system and the beautification of city streets, which have taken up parking spaces in the country’s newest and fourth largest city.

Speaking to the press, the operators led by Fred Nyakundi said that this decision will significantly affect their business, as they will now be expelled from the city center.

“Proximity to customers is always an asset for a company. What the county government has done is against our business interests, but they charge us a fee of Sh2,000 per month,” Mr Nyakundi said.

He said the county government, which banned them from waiting for customers in town a year ago, has now moved to further kill their business.

“The county made unilateral decisions on the transport sector. As they encourage residents to use the NMT, let them consider that it is our business that is at stake,” said Mr. Nyakundi.

Mathew Sanjo, another head of Nakuru operators, said they tried to seek audience with county leaders to express concern to no avail.

“Our concerns have been ignored for a long time and we no longer see any alternative effort being made to get our business back on its feet. We need someone to protect us,” he said.

On Wednesday, Governor Lee Kinyanjui inspected the ongoing project and defended it, saying it aimed to make the city friendly for everyone, not just vehicles and their owners.

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