Matatu Owners Demand to Sakaja Over Green Park Terminus

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    Commuters alight at Green park Terminus after NMS conducted a test run on Tuesday, April 27, 2021
    File
  • Nairobi governor, Johnson Sakaja, is facing a looming crisis in the transport industry after matatu owners urged him to disregard the Green Park Terminus project unveiled by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

    Curbing the transport menace was one of Sakaja's key pledges, however, the new governor may soon grapple with the same issue that derailed the agendas of his predecessors, Mike Sonko and Evans Kidero. 

    Matatu Welfare Association (MWA), argued that the defunct NMS did not consult it when ordering PSVs to operate outside the CBD. NMS's move to unveil the Green Park terminus and other terminals, it argued, was misinformed. 

    The association thus urged Sakaja to instead order long-distance buses to operate at the Green Park terminus whose construction cost north of Ksh200 million.

    Green Park Terminus at the Old Railways Club in Nairobi
    Green Park Terminus at the Old Railways Club in Nairobi
    File

    “We were not consulted and we are not for it because we feel like we are being displaced.

    "The project ought to have been left for long-distance matatus,” John Katimbwa, the association's vice chairperson lamented. 

    Additionally, NMS was accused of prioritising a project which was set to fail as key stakeholders were not involved in its planning and execution. 

    Furthermore, the association questioned the decision to displace town service matatus from the CBD and not include matatu's plying upcountry.

    "If inter-counties matatus were ejected, the streets could have been decongested. The unsuccessful test runs were due to lack of consultation among all the players," he added.

    On his part, the Matatu Owners Association chairperson Simon Kimutai argued that key stakeholders should be involved in any plans to decongest the capital.

    "One of the ways of streamlining the sector is by dealing with stakeholders so that they can give advice on how to decongest the city," Kimutai remarked.

    The Sakaja-Njoroge administration that has taken over all key functions handled by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) was asked to provide viable solutions and alternatives for passengers to move in and out of the CBD.

    Sakaja had vowed to decongest the county in his latest partnership with the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA). He prioritised constructing a Ksh16 billion intelligent management Center along Mombasa Road near City Cabanas. 

    "We want to deploy smart technology to ensure order in our transport sector, It makes no sense to have working traffic lights yet the movement of vehicles is still manually controlled," the county boss noted.

    File photo of traffic jam experience in Nairobi
    File photo of traffic jam experience in Nairobi
    File