Transport to and from Machakos town was on Wednesday morning paralysed after matatu owners withdrew their vehicles from the roads.
The chairman of Machakos Matatu Owners Association Onesmas Kyalo told the Nation that they are protesting the invasion of their routes by matatus from Nairobi and Kiambu counties.
"We are protesting a move to allow matatus which are supposed to operate in Nairobi routes to ply routes in Machakos," Mr Kyalo said.
The matatus in question, the Nation, has established, belong to saccos which have been authorised by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to operate in the county.
"The problem emanates with the county government. It has given the matatus letters of no objection without consulting the relevant stakeholders. This is how NTSA has allowed the matatus to ply routes in Machakos County," Mr Kyalo said.
Boda boda riders made brisk business transporting passengers as matatu operators flagged down defiant public service vehicles.
More than 3,000 matatus participated in the strike. The strike has affected travellers to and from Kajiado, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni and Nairobi counties.
This is not the first time matatu owners in the region have raised issues with influx of matatus licenced to operate in other regions. In a letter to the matatu owners last month, Machakos Transport executive Naomi Mutie promised to look into the grievance.