Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

digital platform at new matatu termini in Nairobi

3 min read

Commuters in Nairobi will soon start using a digital platform for rides to and from termini which will be introduced by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) outside the central business district (CBD).

NMS will integrate an electronic system in the termini outside the city centre that will keep matatu users informed on the time last mile buses will be at the different pick up stages.

NMS Director of Transport and Public Works Michael Ochieng said the system will also keep matatu operators informed.

“This system keeps you informed and, when you have information, you make correct decisions on what time you are planning to do your business, what time to leave your office, when to you go home and so on. That is what we want to integrate,” said Mr Ochieng.

The new development is part of the ongoing plans to relocate public service vehicles (PSVs) from the CBD.

Mr Ochieng said that bus rapid transport (BRT) vehicles will be available for passengers who will prefer not to walk from the termini to the city centre and vice-versa.

Implementation date
At the same time, he explained that a date to stop matatus from accessing the CBD has not been arrived at, meaning that PSVs will still be ferrying passengers to the city centre for the foreseeable future until such a time when everything is ready for the implementation of the decongestion strategy.

He said the date will be announced after “the project is done and we have rehearsed with the matatu operators on how they are going to operate in various sections of the roads”.

He said the Green Park terminus, which is the drop-off and pick-up point for matatus plying Ngong Road and Lang’ata Road routes, will be ready for use in two weeks’ time.

“It has taken us about a month to complete 80 per cent of Green Park, so for the remaining bit, we may be through in two weeks,” said the NMS transport director.

The terminus is among a number set to be used in the relocation plan. The others are Muthurwa, Fig Tree, Desai, Park Road, Workshop Road and another one along Bunyala Road.

He allayed fears that there could be congestion at the termini, resulting in traffic snarl-ups, saying that the stages will strictly be for picking up and dropping passengers with a clear routine to ensure constant mobility.

Not for parking
“The termini will not be parking space. They will act as pick up and drop off points with each vehicle having five minutes to drop and another five to pick up passengers,” he said.

However, Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai has warned that the plan could fail if NMS continues to ignore key stakeholders in the transport sector who are familiar with operations of the industry.

Mr Kimutai said the best way to go about the whole plan is to gather the views of all affected stakeholders as well as service users.

This will ensure that the implementing agency gets better ideas on how to go about the strategy from an informed point, with commuters being sensitised on how the plan will be implemented, keeping in mind that there are about 15,000 matatus accessing the city centre daily carrying close to two million commuters.

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