Commuter transport paralysed as PSV crackdown kicks off in Thika.

Thika traffic base commander Hellenah Wamuyu together with other traffic police officers checking vehicles along Thika Superhighway near Vincentian Retreat Centre. 
Commuter services within Thika and its environs was on Monday paralysed as the police made good their threat to crackdown on unroadworthy PSV vehicles and those which have not complied with the provisions of the NTSA Act and the Traffic Act (Michuki Rules).
Passengers were  forced to alight at and walk on foot as traffic police officers assisted by administration police mounted a roadblock along Thika superhighway near Vincentian Retreat Centre.
Every vehicle that was on the road got checked whether they compliant with those that were found faulty being towed to the area police station.
Motorbikes and tuktuks were not spared either as any rider or passenger found without helmets or lifesaver reflectors were arrested and motorbikes impounded.
During the operation led by Thika Traffic Base Commander Hellenah Wamuyu, about 50 including public and private motor vehicles were nabbed and taken to Thika police Station waiting to be arraigned in court.
Commuters forced to alight PSV vehicles as traffic police make a thorough inspection on the matatus' compliance to "Michuki Rules".
Majority of the PSVs that operate within the town and its environs kept off the road probably in fear of arrest with some claiming that they had pulled off in support of a matatu strike that had been called by the operators to protest over the stringent rules.
Makongeni area and the Thika superhighway were the most affected as very few vehicles hit the road.
The few that operated took advantage of the scarcity of means of transport to exploit the stranded and very frustrated commuters. Fare to Nairobi raged from Sh. 200 to Sh. 300 instead of the normal Sh. 70 and sh. 100.
(Related story: List of new NTSA fines and penalties for traffic offences.)

Those getting to town from Makongeni had to part with Sh. Sh. 50 instead of the normal Sh. 20 and so were those from Witeithie and Ngoingwa. 
Commuters from Landless, Muguga, Kiganjo and Kisii were forced to pay Sh. 100 to Thika Town.
Bodaboda riders and tuktuks took full advantage of the situation to make a kill, with some charging as high as three times the normal prices.
Hundreds of residents were forced to walk to work after seeing no hope in sight, some as far as from Kisii  and Kiganjo estates.
However,majority of them were in support of the government's action saying they were ready to sacrifice until sanity was restored in the matatu industry.
As we went to press, normalcy was slowly returning with buses charging about sh. 150 to Nairobi.
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