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Photo by Justin Brian:

“You can’t understand a city without using its public transportation system.”
― Erol Ozan

One of the famous names describing Nairobi is (Nai- robbery), the security level in the city has fluctuated between good and bad throughout the years but in the recent months it has slowly gone up with an article from Kenyans recording an increase in crimes especially during public holidays as many of the people are looking money to celebrate with their families.

‘I never trust any Bodaboda riders since that incident, when one appears to be coming too close I panic’

Stephanie has on several occasions witnessed the crime committed by Motorbike rider in the Nairobi. In her first Incident they tried to attack her while in the second incident, “It was at 5am and after hailing a Boda to drop me off at my University gate this rider refused to my destination and was riding towards the opposite side despite requesting him to turn, I therefore choose to jump off the moving bike and luckily I didn’t sustain any serious injuries” states Stephanie.

This is a familiar encounter for a good number of women in Nairobi who use this mode of public transport. It is either a rider would accept your ride request and refuse to go towards your destination or they were not sober like in the situation of Stephanie. For many men who have had an encounter robbers disguised as taxis riders it is in most cases with weapons such as a knife or a gun. This was the situation with Abraham who was accosted by three men on a Motorbike as he had just walked out of his house on his way to the bus stop. They robbed him of his phone and money, according to Mr. Njenga it is his lack of resistance that allowed him to go his way unharmed. He went ahead to state that cases like this have happened to his friends as well but you cannot report since not much can be done as it happens so fast and you have not lost that much.

Due to the traffic in the capital use of motorcycle taxis are at the heart of Kenya’s public transport as opposed to Matatus (Mini buses) which come in a close second, they manoeuvre through traffic quick and easy disobeying traffic rules as they go. They are cost effective charging from around $0.50– $2 and alleviate poverty, most of the taxi riders come from vulnerable or economically challenged homes. From both ends it is intricately important for this sector to be well regulated promptly before the situation is completely out of hand.

Towards the end of 2020 The Government through the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) announced that they will soon start offering training to Bodaboda riders as part of their efforts to stream line the sector. The training which reportedly started in February 2021 launched by the Ministry of Public Transport, Youth and Gender Affairs as stated by [i]Kosgey 2021.There was previous talks of training when NTSA stated they will partnering with Toyota Kenya to enhance road safety four years ago according to [ii]media reports, the was no implementation of sustainable training as the situation in those years has worsened.

[i] Ministry of Public Transport Youth and Gender Affairs, Kosgey 2021

[ii] Impact Hub Media, 2018

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