The welfare of the public transport sector rarely catches the eyes of the government except in the case of revenue collection and pubic scandals that cause an uproar. Despite being Kenya’s economic cogwheel and an important segment that facilitates movement in the country, it has been neglected.
Now Matatu owners want the government to open a training institution for matatu drivers and conductors with a dedicated curriculum like the ones for aviation, rail, and marine sectors will ensure that drivers and conductors are taken through proper training that will and improve road safety in the country.
Matatu Owners Association (MOA) chairman Simon Kimutai said that setting up a training school, will emphasize on to specific training like how to respond to emergencies and customer care unlike the general skills obtained in a driving school.
“The training will focus on most of the ills that are in the sector. Most of the driving schools produce half-baked drivers. If you have a four-year license you should not automatically receive a PSV license but you need to be trained to handle a PSV.
“Even if people have to pay, let the training be there so that the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) should stop issuing licenses [based] on the age of the licensee but on the strength of the person being trained, tested and classified,” he said Mr. Kimutai, speaking during the MOA national governing council meeting with county representatives meeting set to address issues affecting public transport operators in the country.
During the meeting NTSA was called upon to restore order in the sector by only approving new licenses for matatu saccos on a need basis, saying that the sector is saturated as there is over-investment, especially in Nairobi.
“NTSA needs to study and see whether there is a demand for the service for them to issue more licenses to organizations who apply rather than giving out the licenses haphazardly,” he said.