Twitter comes to the rescue of travellers stranded on the road

PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI Nyeri residents walk on the Nyeri-Nairobi highway on November 30, 2012. Transport was paralysed in the town after matatu operators grounded their vehicles in protest against against new traffic rules.

What you need to know:

  • From Nyeri to Nakuru, Nyamira to Nyandarua, Nanyuki and Narok, Thursday was a terrible day for millions of commuters after operators grounded their matatus in protest over new traffic laws introducing hefty fines and jail terms for offenders
  • Stranded commuters, however, got a reprieve from a most unlikely source — the micro-blogging website Twitter
  • Dubbed #CarPoolKe, people driving personal cars announced the direction they were heading and the number of passengers they had space for
  • Red Cross Society head of social media Philip Ogola, said the initiative had reached 16.5 million people on Twitter, while the Red Cross got 9,312 retweets and 3,229 mentions
  • As the strike seemed to be coming to an end, most people hailed the car-pooling initiative as a testament to the resilience of Kenyans.

On Thursday evening, Mr Sankara Kiragu was among thousands of people who were stranded in Nairobi without any means of going home after matatu operators went on strike.

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