We won’t relent on bid to decongest city, says NMS
Confusion has rocked plans by Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) to move Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) from the city centre.
Stakeholders in the sector have vowed not to move their vehicles from the Central Business District (CBD).
Various PSV operators and matatu owners who spoke to the People Daily yesterday opposed the directive and accused NMS of having ulterior motive in its plan.
“We will not be moved out of this city. We have enough rights like other Kenyans. We want the exercise done in an inclusive manner where our views will be well represented,” said National Matatu Owners Association chairman John Muthonga.
On his part, Matatu Owners Association chairman Simon Kimutai called on the government to have an inclusive dialogue that will see them air views comprehensively.
“We support any attempt that will make this city a better place. But we must share our views as well,’ said Kimutai.
But NMS appears to be firm with the plan to decongest the city with phase one of the exercise expected to start anytime from today.
Unlike what many expected before, NMS said the ambitious plan will be conducted in phases to avoid causing chaos in the city.
Green Park terminus, which is meant to accommodate at least 110 matatus, is almost complete, with the NMS finalising the facilities within the area.
Together with Desai and Park roads, it will be the first terminus to be commissioned.
The commissioning date will be officially communicated by NMS Director General Mohammed Badi.
“We are in consultation with stakeholders to see if we can have a phased opening and commissioning of the termini to avoid the situation turning chaotic,” said director of Transport and Public Works Michael Ochieng.
Ochieng at the same time dismissed those calling for consultations maintaining that the government has been meeting with the stakeholders.
“We are in talks with real stakeholders, the ones complaining are people who even don’t own vehicles. All serious investors are fully behind our plan,’ he said.
He explained that Phase One will include all matatus plying the Langata and Ngong routes.
Within the terminus, there will be a police post, supermarket, modern ablution, restaurants and a dispensary.
“We want Kenyans to know that the plan to decongest the city is not a one-day event. It is gradual and involves phases. After we are done with Phase One, we will move to other places,’ emphasised Ochieng.
To further improve traffic management and decongest the CBD, Ochieng said they will also rehabilitate and reintroduce the use of traffic signals.
NMS is also constructing Fig Tree terminus at Ngara that will serve matatus from Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande and Limuru roads.
Muthurwa terminus is also expected to remain as it serves PSVs from Jogoo and Lusaka roads.
Commuter rail services are other ways, which NMS has been using to decongest the city.
Also in July last year, Stecol Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build the long-awaited Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit system, which is expected to support the city’s rickety public commuter services and help ease traffic congestion.
The project will comprise more than 100 buses operating on dedicated lanes on the Thika Superhighway, through the Nairobi City centre to the Kenyatta National Hospital.