Nairobi Matatu Ban: NMS Issues New Directive After Deadline Elapses

  • Motorists on a Colossal Traffic Jam Along Busy Uhuru Highway in Nairobi
    Motorists on a Colossal Traffic Jam Along Busy Uhuru Highway in Nairobi
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has issued a new directive after the deadline for matatu ban elapsed. Motorists were poised to be blocked from entering the city as from December 1, according to a deadline issued by NMS in November 2020. 

    NMS spokesperson Rose Gakuo stated that the ban will be effected in the future, but in phases to avoid a transport crisis.

    “There is still a lot to be done," she stated while referring to the challenges they faced such as rejection of the plan by matatu owners. 

    NMS Director in-charge of Transport, Engineer Michael Ochieng added that the new dates will depend on how fast the agency will build new termini. 

    File images of matatus at a bus terminus in Nairobi
    File images of matatus at a bus terminus in Nairobi
    Citizen Digital

    "We have a plan to decongest the city but we are yet to come up with an exact date. Things will be done in phases in terms of which termini are ready and which matatus will occupy. 

    "For now treat the issue of December 1, as just rumours,” he said. 

    The plan is facing a major setback after matatu owners secured a court order stopping the authorities from implementing the plan.

    The National Confederation of Matatu Transporters under Chairman Nelson Mwangi stated that the NMS plan could not proceed as they (matatu owners) were awaiting the judgment on a case they filed against Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko's decongestion plans. 

    "The case will be mentioned on February 9, Why is NMS in a hurry?" he posed.

    NMS, however, is keen on implementing its plan according to Engineer Michael Ochieng who assured that the termini being constructed were nearing completion. 

    The service is also set to unveil a mobile app meant to restrict the flow of matatus in the CBD.

    The app will only allow a handful of matatus into town in a bid to reduce congestion in various pickup points. It will be rolled out once the Green Park Terminus is complete.

    A terminus will be located at Green Park known to many as Railways Club, another one at Fig Tree in Ngara, and at the junction of Bunyala and Workshop Road as well as one at Muthurwa. 

    An image of the Green Park Bus Terminus
    The Green Park bus terminus at Railways Club, Nairobi under construction.
    The Standard