DECONGETSION PLAN

Tough rules await matatus at new Green Park terminus

It is estimated to have cost around Sh250 million and will be the drop-off and pick-up point for matatus plying the Ngong and Lang’ata routes

In Summary

•President Uhuru Kenyatta inspected the much awaited bus terminus ahead of the its commissioning thrice last year, it has never been opened.

•While operating within Green Park,every route will be required to have two staff members  that will assist in operations at the terminus.

Nairobi commuters and PSVs at the Green Park Terminus during the test run on June 18, 2021
Nairobi commuters and PSVs at the Green Park Terminus during the test run on June 18, 2021
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

All matatu saccos that will use the Green Park terminus will have a maximum of only three vehicles at any time.

This is part of the regulations applicable at the terminus that were released by the NMS on Monday.

The terminus is among six others that NMS  has set up for Sh350 million. It will be a pick up and drop off point once matatus are barred from the  CBD.

The others include Desai, Park Road, Ladhies Muthurwa, Fig Tree terminus and Bunyala-Workshop road.

Green Park terminus, which is estimated to have cost around Sh250 million, will be the drop-off and pick-up point for matatus plying the Ngong and Lang’ata routes.

Once operational, the terminus will accommodate 20,000 vehicles daily, 100 PSV at any given hour and 300 to 350 vehicles at any given time o the day.

As part of the regulations by NMS , all vehicles using it  will have a maximum of 20 minutes to drop off and pick up passengers.

According to NMS  Director General  Mohammed Badi the time limit will help to prevent congestion at the terminus.

For uniformity, utilisation of  Green Park  will see the comeback of discipline among the sacco members.

"All staff including drivers, conductors and route marshals will have badges with names, photos and full uniforms,”the notice said .

A code of conduct for all staff will be introduced, explaining how they will operate within the terminal and the consequences that will be there for those who break them.

“Any driver or conductor who violates set rules must be punished, blacklisted  and their PSV badges suspended,"  the notice said.

While operating within Green Park, every route will be required to have two staff members who will assist in operations there.

Vehicles will be expected to be compliant, meet standards  and regulatory  requirements.

In addition, NMS has banned touting and conducting matatu repairs within the terminus .

Matutu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai criticised the regulations stating that the terminal itself was already a failure.

He told the Star that some of the regulation by NMS were impossible to enforce and he foresees a lot of confusion if and when the terminal is opened.

“NMS conducted test runs  that caused confusion.When NMS say three matatus per sacco are they aware of the number of the PSV on the road during peak hours? " Kimutai asked.

The MOA boss also stated that the terminal was placed on the wrong side of the city which will result in more congestion.

Kimutai further faulted NMS for failing to consult with the matatu owners and instead holding forums with non-players in the public industry.

“Consultation is key and without it, this city will not move away from congested roads,”he said.

 Kimutai suggested that NMS should instead  license matatu saccos to do cross city rounds which will help reduce traffic and number of matatus in the CBD.

Despite President Uhuru Kenyatta thrice inspecting the much awaited bus terminus ahead of the  commissioning, it has never been opened.

Last month,NMS director of transport and public works Michael Ochieng said the delay had been occasioned by the construction of the  Expressway.

Also the feedback from the test run is said to have caused further delay as some issues had to be fixed .

In preparedness, NMS last year conducted at least three test runs in order to identify challenges and loopholes in the terminus.

The first test run conducted on April 27, 2021, was filled with confusion and frustrations.

The three-hour test run which commenced at 6.00 am was aimed to observe how the matatus will drop off commuters at the terminal.

The second one took place on May 28, 2021, in the evening from 3.00 pm to 6.00  pm from picking up commuters.

After the second test run NMS had said some adjustments in terms of  Covid-19 safety measures and that of  the furniture to ensure that matatus are not damaged while making a U-turns when dropping off passengers.

The third one was on June 17, 2021 which was  a whole day affair from 5.00 am to 9.00 pm on a Friday.

A month later, it was announced that the bus terminus will open up for business after NMS called for lease applications from the public

The entity exempted traders who were operating from the previous Lunar park and also people or firms who had previously expressed interest from applying.

In terms of allocating the space Badi revealed that 60 per cent will be for the general public, while 35 per cent will be reserved for women and youths.

Persons living with disabilities have not been left out as 5 percent of the space will be reserved for them.

Nothing, though, has been announced concerning the process .

In September NMS announced it had  roped in four China trained engineers to assist in automation of the terminus. 

 The team of engineers were from the Kenya Railways Corporation and  had been trained in China on automated traffic management.

The electronic system will be integrated in the terminus to keep matatu users appraised of the time the last-mile buses will be at the different pick-up stages.

No updates  have been given on the status of the automation since.

(Edited by Francis Wadegu)

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