DECONGESTING THE CITY

NMS cracks down on illegal allocation of PSV drop off bays

New termini are being constructed at Railways Club, Bunyala-Workshop roads junction

In Summary

• Badi has put an end to allocations of bays by unauthorised officers to restore order in the city by the end of the year.

• Last week, President Kenyatta directed the NMS to build a traffic control centre at City Cabanas to ease congestion on key Nairobi roads.

Traffic congestion at Khoja mosque on September 26.
TRAFFIC MESS: Traffic congestion at Khoja mosque on September 26.
Image: MERCY MUMO

 

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services has cracked down on unauthorised allocations of passenger picking up and dropping off points for matatus in the Central Business District.

Only Roads director Michael Ochieng is authorised to allocate them, according to a November 13 public notice by NMS director-general Mohamed Badi.

 

The notice said this will allow for the review of NMS decongestion plan for the city.

Badi said the bays were being allocated illegally by unauthorised officers.

"No person or officer is authorised to allocate or assign the bays for PSVs without written authorisation from the director of Roads, Transport and Public Works upon approval by the DG," he said.

Requests for such allocation will henceforth be scrutinised by the NMS-appointed committee.

"Any purported approval granted without following this procedure will be null and void," Badi warned.

Meanwhile, the construction of two PSV termini has started at the Bunyala – Workshop Road junction and Green Park, popularly known as Railway Club.

The former will be used by matatus plying South B, South C, Industrial Area, Imara Daima, Athi River, Kitengela and Machakos routes when the ban of PSVs from the CBD is effected.

Green Park Bus Terminus under construction on November 13, 2020
Green Park Bus Terminus under construction on November 13, 2020
Image: COURTESY
 

The Green Park terminus will be for matatus plying the Ngong and Lang'ata roads (Kawangware, Kikuyu, Kibera, Lang'ata, Rongai and Kiserian).

Last week, the Treasury announced it will acquire the Nairobi Railways Club for Sh5 billion for the construction of the passenger terminal and the expansion of Uhuru Highway.

Badi said in a press statement last Friday that the NMS is determined to restore order in the city before the end of the year.

The Fig Tree terminus at Ngara will be for matatus using Waiyaki Way, Kipande and Limuru roads while the PSVs plying the Thika Superhighway and those from Mt Kenya region will drop and pick passengers at the newly refurbished Desai and Park Road termini.

Muthurwa will be the terminus for matatus from Eastlands using Jogoo and Lusaka roads.

Badi said decongesting Nairobi was among his top priorities.

Both Governors Mike Sonko and Evans Kidero before him had the decongestion of the city also as a priority but they failed.

When the NMS was established on March 18 at State House and handed over to Badi, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked the new sheriff in town to operationalise Desai Road and Park Road termini for matatus.

To further improve traffic management and help in decongesting the CBD, NMS was also tasked with rehabilitating and reintroducing the use of traffic signals.

Last week at the launch of Nairobi Commuter Rail System, the President directed the NMS to build a traffic control centre at City Cabanas to ease congestion on key Nairobi roads.

The Badi-led office was also instructed to set up 100 new road junctions and, redesign and signalise 25 new intersections.

Congestion in the CBD is due mainly to too many matatus after the issuance of new Sacco licences for the PSVs. However, this was stopped in February.

A National Transport and Safety Regulations document released in February shows that 272 matatu Saccos are registered to operate in the city. However, there are 420 unregistered Saccos.

Last year, City Hall asked the National Transport and Safety Authority to stop the issuance of new Sacco licences for PSVs.

This was after the county assembly decried the high number of new Saccos in the CBD, leading to double parking and obstruction of traffic.

Tom Tinega, who at the time was the parking director, revoked the allocation of stages to Saccos culpable of double parking.