Matatus-county fight delays use of new Nairobi terminus

by MMC
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Counties

Matatus-county fight delays use of new Nairobi terminus


    Green Park Bus Terminal in Nairobi

Members of the public and transport service providers are seen at the Green Park bus terminus in Nairobi city during a trial run on May 28, 2021. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A tussle between matatu operators and the county government is behind the delay in the commissioning of Nairobi’s Sh250 million Green Park Bus Terminal.

Public Transport Sector Federation president Edwin Mukabana told the Business Daily that motorists did not ask for any extension but refused to park at the new station because they could not agree on how of which it should be exploited.

At the center of the disagreement were the increase in the passenger fare charged at the facility, passenger safety as well as fears that the new car park would create traffic jams in Nairobi.

“At Green Park (GP) terminal, fares varied depending on the operator and the individual bus. Rates at GP were higher than those charged in the CBD. The poor felt disadvantaged when using GP,” Mukabanah said.

He added that passenger safety at Green Park was a concern as passengers were not screened when boarding buses.

“This means that incidents of pickpockets at the Green Park terminal were likely to increase. CBD has CCTV which was not observed at the Green Park terminal,” he said.

It was also very difficult for passengers to access services as they had to walk from the east of the city to the park and vice versa.

This meant that the time needed to access public transport on both sides was too long, leading to unnecessary additional expenses.

“In the CBD, connectivity to rail and other modes was close. At Green Park, it was not easy for passengers going to destinations such as Westlands, Ngara, Gikomba, Machakos Country Bus,” he said.

The 250 million terminus, located in the former Lunar Park, is capable of accommodating between 300 and 350 vehicles at any one time, handling around 1,000 PSV per hour and up to 20,000 per day.

Bragging was not allowed at the terminus and matatus only lasted 20 minutes into the stage.

All staff (drivers, conductors and road marshals) had to have badges with names, photos, uniforms, Sacco or company name. Additionally, each route was required to have two staff members to assist with operations at the terminus.

Matatus were also prohibited from picking up or dropping off passengers at non-designated locations, including the entire stretch of the exit road.

Once fully operational, the bus station was expected to serve as pick-up and drop-off points for matatus from Ngong, Karen, Rongai, Kikuyu, Dagoretti, Kawangware, Kibra, Highrise, Ngumo, Langata, Nairobi West, Makadara, Kaberia, Satellite. and Kiserian.

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