Kenya: Proposed law to compel public transport operators to designate special seats for expectant mothers, infants, persons with physical disabilities & elderly
Author: John Mutua, Business Daily (Kenya), Published on: 3 February 2020
"City Hall seeks special PSV seats for pregnant mothers"
Matatus owners in Nairobi risk fines of up to Sh50,000 for every vehicle that fails to provide specially designed seats for expectant mothers if a proposed city bylaw passes. Vehicles operating in the city centre will be required to reserve up to three special seats for pregnant mothers, infants and disabled people. The Nairobi City County Transport Bill of 2019 currently before the county assembly, however, excludes the popular 14-seater matatus from the requirement but says a PSV with 17-passenger capacity will have one special seat while those carrying 18 to 35 passengers must have two special seats. All matatus with a capacity of more than 35-passengers will designate three seats for the special groups under the proposed law that is expected to spark stiff opposition from matatu owners.
Currently, matatus are not compelled to provide specially designed seats for the elderly, pregnant mothers, passengers with infants and the elderly in what has seen the special groups struggle to travel in comfort using PSVs. The proposals, if adopted, will compel matatus to accommodate folding wheelchairs and walkers the disabled.