DECONGESTING THE CITY

Three bus termini 98% done, says NMS

Three test runs have been conducted in the last few years to identify challenges

In Summary
  • NMS head of Transport Administration said buses will be provided at the Green Park for the old, Persons with Disabilities and the pregnant.
  • Green Park is among six other termini the NMS is setting up at a cost of Sh350 million.
A view of the Green Park bus terminus on April 27.
A view of the Green Park bus terminus on April 27.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

The Nairobi Metropolitan Services has said plans to remove public service vehicles from accessing the choking city are at an advanced stage.

NMS Transport and Public Works director Michael Ochieng’ said on Friday that the much-hyped Green Park terminus, Desai and Park road were 98 per cent done.

“Last year, we did test runs in Green Park terminus with the first test run which improved the exit points and the second one on the pickup points and also exit points and then we did the terminal operations," Ochieng' said. 

"Lessons learnt at that time required that we improve the traffic circulation around the park and that is the work that has been undertaken.” 

Ochieng' spoke at Green Park when he explained to the media how the public is supposed to use the facility.

Authorities are seeking to use the termini, expressway, Bus Rapid Transit and commuter train as part of the decongestion strategy.

During the event, Nairobi traffic police bosses, Kenya Urban Roads Authority, Kenya National Highways Authority engineers and officials from the Kenya Railways, National Transport and Safety Authority and Transport ministry were present.

Ochieng’ said elaborate infrastructural adjustments have also been done in readiness for the rolling out of the project. 

“The vehicles leaving the Green Park now have a dedicated lane along Uhuru Highway to Kenyatta highway and to their destination through Ngong road without interference,” he said.

Ochieng said vehicle owners are supposed to provide a holding ground for their vehicles as a few vehicles from three Saccos will be allowed at the termini at a time with a maximum of 20 minutes at the park.

He said vehicles entering the park will be electronically captured.

When coming out, a huge billboard will show the number plate of the vehicle and the route it is plying, a move that Ochieng’ said will ensure fairness.

CCTVs installed will also help in not only securing the park but also in enhancing transparency.

Ochieng’ further said the time the vehicle arrives at the park and when it exits will be captured electronically.

At the park, touting is not allowed as passengers will be guided by a public address system as well as huge information boards already mounted at the park.

And at the park, traffic marshals from the county and traffic police will be used to ensure law and order.

Ochieng’ said KeNHA will do an underpass near Haile Selassie Avenue to help pedestrians cross.

He said a large concentration of pedestrians is expected to use the underpass from the Green Park.

Ochieng’ said the underpass will help reduce conflicts as it has been designed based on the projected numbers.

The underpass will be interconnected to the four lanes of the roundabout just a few meters from the park.

Superintendent Boniface Otieno, who is seconded from National Police Service to NMS and dealing with traffic matters, said the green terminus project targets three major routes into the city.

The routes are Langata road, Ngong Road and Argwings Kodhek Road.

“All public service vehicles coming to the CBD currently using Langata road will have two options of accessing the Green Park terminus. The first option is at T-Mall roundabout," Otieno said. 

"They will take Mbagathi road (Raila Odinga Road) up to the City Mortuary roundabout and join Ngong road and take the normal traffic to Kenya National Library and NHIF area and enter the Green Park through the dedicated lane.”

Otieno said the second alternative is to go to Nyayo Stadium to drop some people there.

“From Nyayo Stadium, they will turn left and come through Uhuru Highway to Bunyala roundabout where they will turn left and take Lower Hill road.

"That will drop them behind the British High Commission then the Lower Hill Haile Selassie Avenue. They will turn left for a few meters to get a new U-turn which has been constructed to filter traffic.”

Otieno said when they make that U-turn they will enter into the Green Park.

He also said Argwings Kodhek Road will come up to Silver Springs Hotel roundabout and turn right.

Where taxis and boda bodas will operate from has also been provided at the Green Park.

NMS head of Transport Administration Martin Eshiwani said buses will be provided for the old, Persons with Disabilities and the pregnant.

The user-friendly buses, with the capacity of 36 seated and 30 standing, will be plying Green park, Central Business District and up to country bus.

Eshiwani said the fare to be paid is still being negotiated but will be pocket-friendly and trolley services will be provided.

Kura chief corporate communication officer John Cheboi said plans are in place to do away with all roundabouts before being replaced by intelligent systems.

“We will remove 107 roundabouts. We have hired a consultant to review the designs and will advertise the contractor to start work,” Cheboi said.

NMS last year conducted at least three test runs to identify challenges and loopholes in the Green Park terminus.

The first run carried out on April 27, 2021, was marred with confusion and frustrations.

The three-hour test run, which started at 6am, was aimed to observe how matatus will drop off commuters at the terminus.

The second one took place on May 28, 2021, in the evening from 3pm to 6 pm, to observe the picking up of commuters.

After the second test NMS Ochieng’ said some adjustments in terms of Covid-19 safety measures and the furniture at the terminus had to be done.

The furniture adjustments were to ensure matatus are not damaged while making a U-turn to drop off passengers.

Matatu drivers also said traffic was unbearable as they entered the terminus.

They urged the NMS to look into ways to shorten the time spent entering and leaving the terminus.

The third test run was done on June 17, 2021, and was a whole0day affair that ran from 5am to 9pm Friday.

Green Park is among six other termini the NMS is setting up at a cost of Sh350 million.

The termini will be the official pick-up and drop-off points once public vehicles are barred from the CBD.

Other termini are Landhies Muthurwa, Fig Tree and Bunyala-Workshop Road.

Ochieng’ said the termini are work in progress.

Reports said the Green Park has a capacity to accommodate 300 to 350 vehicles at any given time and up to 20,000 matatus in a day.

Bunyala-Workshop Road will be reserved for matatus plying Mombasa Road, South B, South C, Industrial Area, Imara Daima, Athi River, Kitengela and Machakos routes.

All matatus currently using Tea Room and Accra Road plying Thika Superhighway and long-distance matatus from Mt Kenya will move to Desai and Park road termini in Ngara.

The terminus at Muthurwa-Ladhies will serve matatus from Jogoo and Lusaka roads.

Green Park will not only be a bus termini but will also host other amenities.

A supermarket will be set up and there is a Level 2 hospital already operating within the terminus.

An ablution block has also been stationed at the terminal.

There is also a fully operational police post together with sitting bays for commuters.


(edited by Amol Awuor)

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