Matatu Ban: NMS New Plan After Test Run Confusion

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    Commuters alight at Green park Terminus after NMS conducted a test run on Tuesday, April 27, 2021
  • The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has unveiled plans that will fix loopholes and shortcomings that were exposed when the agency conducted a test run of the matatu ban at Green Park Terminus. 

    On Tuesday, April 27 - NMS Transport and Public Works Director - Engineer Michael Ochieng stated that the test run had proven that the ban of matatu was a work in progress. 

    For three hours, all matatus operating at the Railways Bus Terminus were blocked from accessing the CBD and only picked and dropped passengers at Green Park stage near Uhuru Park. However, the drill created confusion among motorists and commuters and also caused a traffic snarl in the city. 

    NMS, under Director-General Mohammed Badi, planned to see how passengers would connect to CBD once the ban is fully enforced in May 2021. Most of the commuters who were caught up in the test run walked all the way to the CBD from the stage, with some having even alighted before reaching the terminus. 

    Matatu Bus Stop Sign at GPO Stage, Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019
    Matatu Bus Stop Sign at GPO Stage, Along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi. Monday, October 21, 2019

    Ochieng argued that the test run was a success as it had proven that the matatus plying Ngong Road route could be accommodated at the terminus. 

    However, they will have to improve the vehicle passenger dropping off, restructure common exits and reanalyse how commuters would connect to walkways to CBD. He added that they had reached out to Kenya Railways to avail commuter buses to ferry the disabled and those with luggage to their destinations free of charge. 

    An earlier plan by NMS involved using taxis, boda bodas and Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) buses as last-mile connectivity. Commuters would also walk or cycle to the CBD.

    "Today is just the beginning but we want to ensure that the operation of the terminus is safe, works well and addresses the concerns of commuters and matatu operators to give them better service," Ochieng promised.

    Apart from Green Park, NMS is also constructing termini at Fig Tree in Ngara, Bunyala and Workshop Road and Muthurwa. It also proposed building one at Globe Cinema Roundabout.  

    At Green Park, the agency will ban touting as a digital technology displayed on screens will indicate the Sacco a matatu belongs to, its route, number plate, arrival and departure times. 

    Traffic snarl-up at Uhuru Highway in Nairobi