FAILED TEST

Green Park test-run fails, NMS orders matatus back to CBD

Before noon matatus were back to their CBD stages along railways, Agro house , Kencom among others

In Summary

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

•NMS had announced earlier that the test run which was set to happen in phases will run until Sunday.

With less than six hours after the Green Park test run started, Nairobi Metropolitan Services ordered matatus back to the city centre.

This was after matatu operators and commuters cried foul of confusion, traffic snarl-ups, and long queues that marred the test run which began in the morning hours.

NMS had announced earlier that the test run which was set to happen in phases will run until Sunday, June 26, when further communication will be done.

Wednesday’s test run was only meant for matatus plying Rongai, Kiserian, Ngong, Karen, Lang'ata, Nairobi West/Madaraka, Kibra, Kawangware, Dagoretti/Satellite, Kilimani, Highrise/Ngumo and Kikuyu routes.

However, before noon, matatus were back to their CBD stages along Railways, Agro house and Kencom among others

Speaking to the Star, Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai criticized the test run stating the terminal itself was already a failure.

"The city planners did a poor job and it is evident that Nairobi does not have transport planners," he said.

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 of 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.

The chairman further said the test run will remain a failure due to the unavailability of holding grounds which are meant to be provided by the county government.

"They have not provided holding grounds yet they want three matatus per Sacco inside the terminus? This is a joke," Kimutai added.

According to the matatu operators, the test run had challenges which affect them directly and interferes with the daily seamless operations they are used to.

We are taking a lot of time to get into the terminal as compared to our normal stage where we just drop and pick at the same spot,” John Akama, driver lamented

Another challenge is the lack of passengers, especially in the morning hours.

The operators decried that once they dropped off commuters in the morning, there were no passengers within the terminus hence leaving empty.

Unlike our initial stages, there is no business here yet we are not allowed to camp. We leave without any commuters,” said Julius Wafula.

Despite the challenges at the Green Park terminus, matatu operators said the fare remained the same.

"Fuel prices are already a burden to us and lowering the fare will be a loss to us. Therefore the fare still remains,” said John Otieno.

Commuters had earlier said they were ambushed by the test run, not knowing such an exercise was going to take place.

Many were forced to trek to CBD. Some were in the company of children while others were heading to their different places of work.

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