TEST RUN

Public 'ambushed' as NMS begins five day test run at Green Park

Commuters shared their frustrations, citing inconveniences caused by the exercise.

In Summary

•The test run which is set to happen in phases will run until Sunday, June 26, 2022, when further communication will be done.

•No matatu will be allowed to operate from the railway terminus for now.

Public Service Vehicle stationed at the Green Park Terminus as Nairobi Metropolitan Services conducts its fourth test run on June 22, 2022
Public Service Vehicle stationed at the Green Park Terminus as Nairobi Metropolitan Services conducts its fourth test run on June 22, 2022
Image: ENOS TECHE

Confusion and traffic snarl-ups dominated Green Park terminus's fourth test run which started Wednesday morning.

The test run which is set to happen in phases will run until Sunday, June 26, 2022, when further communication will be done by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

As early as 6:00 am, police were at the Bunyala Roundabout where they diverted all matatus towards the Bunyala Road heading to Upperhill.

Only personal vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles were permitted to access Uhuru Highway from the Bunyala Roundabout.

However, some matatus from South B, Imara Daima and other sides of Mombasa Road caught up in the mix used Lusaka Road at the Nyayo Stadium Roundabout to Jogoo Road Roundabout then Landhies Road to access Central Business District.

Wednesday's test run was meant to only be for matatu from Rongai, Kiseran, Ngong, Karen, Langata, Nairobi West/Madaraka, Kibra, Kawangware, Dagoretti/Satellite, Kilimani, Highrise/Ngumo and Kikuyu.

Matatus from Langata Road on reaching Nyayo Stadium are expected to join Uhuru Highway to Bunyala Roundabout where they will turn left and take Lower Hill Road.

From Lower Hill, they will join Haile Selassie Avenue, turn left for a few metres and make a new U-turn, which has been constructed to filter traffic, before joining the Green Park.

Matatus also have an option of heading to the Mortuary Roundabout and joining Ngong Road then taking the usual road to Kenya National Library and NHIF area and entering the Green Park through the dedicated lane.

At the Green Park, commuters who appeared to be confused, shared their frustrations, citing inconveniences caused by the exercise.

Many lamented that they were not aware of the test run.

NMS announced this last week Thursday and on Tuesday (yesterday) on their social media platforms and also in the local dailies.

“I didn’t know of the test run and I have just seen the matatu being diverted towards Upperhill and we have been told to alight at the terminus. Now I have to walk to Koja to board a matatu to Parklands,” said Allan Okumu.

“I have been dropped here and now I have to look for another means to reach Gikomba where I am headed to. This means I will have to spend more money,” said a visibly annoyed Aisha Wanjiku, trader.

To enter the CBD, commuters from the terminus have to cross the busy Uhuru Highway just right after the Haile Selassie Roundabout.

With traffic police controlling the flow of vehicles, the commuters from the terminus appeared abandoned with no traffic marshall to help them to cross the busy road.

Matatus were also caught up in the mix as long queues were witnessed as they entered the terminus.

Once the matatu dropped off the passengers, they exit the terminus where they have a dedicated lane along Uhuru Highway to Kenyatta Avenue -Uhuru Highway roundabout and join Valley road to their destination.

Bodaboda operators took the opportunity and waited to ferry commuters to the city centre.

They had camped at the commuter exit point at the terminus facing Uhuru Highway.

NMS officers were spotted within the terminus directing commuters on how to move within the terminus

With the test run, no matatu will be allowed to operate from the railway terminus which has closed indefinitely.

Also, matatus have been locked out of Kenyatta Avenue and City Hall for the next five days.

There is a matatu stage along Kenyatta Avenue outside General Post Office (GPO) which mostly has PSVs plying on Ngong Road via Valley Road while the Kencom stage also has matatus from Ngong Road.

Most of the dominant matatus stationed at these two stages are Kenya Bus Service ( KBS) and City Hoppa.

The Sh250 million Green Park is part of the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan that seeks to ensure a reliable and efficient transport system.

NMS director-general Mohammed Badi said it aims at decongesting CBD, reducing travel time, improving commuter experiences and encouraging the use of public transport.

Green Park is among six termini being set up by NMS following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive in March 2020.

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

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