The Nairobi Metropolitan Service is planning on barring matatus from entering the Nairobi Central Business District.
Speaking before the National Assembly Committee on Administration, NMS Director General, Mohammed Badi, said that they wanted the matatus out of the CBD by November, a move meant to decongest the city.
The conundrum of decongesting Nairobi
Decongesting Nairobi has been a conundrum that various administrations have been trying to solve with minimal success. From Kidero’s baffling closure of roundabouts with drums, to Mike Sonko’s ill-advised ban of matatus on CBD, many have tried, few have succeeded.
However, Mohamed Badi told the National Assemby Committee on Administration that plans to decongest Nairobi were in their final stages. The President will launch them in November.
Bus termini outside the CBD
He said that the NMS has been working with NTSA to build a bus station at Ngara and Parklands, where matatus from Thika will dock.
Machakos and Lang’ata public contraptions, meanwhile, will terminate their journey at Railways Golf Club.
On how far they had gone with the process, Badi said that the NMS had already acquired land for the stations. The administration was now working on logistics of setting up the termini.
These had also been the plans under Mike Sonko’s administration, with the wheels coming off due to poor planning.
Badi also revealed that the much touted Bus-rapid-transit (BRT) would begin operations at the end of this month (September). Kenya was to have the BRT system sometime last year, but talks on the system soon died down. Now, the only reminder are the red lines along Thika Superhighway.
Badi said the BRT would transport passengers from the various train stations to their destinations.
The BRT system has succeeded in Tanzania among other countries, and is a safe, reliable mode of public transport. Additionally, it is also affordable, and could offset the major pains of fluctuating fare prices matatus charge.