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NMS freezes allocation of new matatu parking bays in city

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has frozen new allocations of pick up and drop off bays for public service vehicles (PSVs) in Nairobi.

This follows concerns of illegal allocations of the matatu parking bays by unauthorised officers in total disregard of an existing suspension.

Now NMS Director General Major-General Mohammed Badi has said that such allocations will have to pass through the Director Roads, Transport and Public Works Michael Ochieng upon his (Badi’s) personal approval.

The NMS boss explained that the move to suspend the allocation of the matatu bays is to allow for a review of his administration’s decongestion plan for the capital city.

“It has come to our notice that unauthorised officers continue to illegally allocate picking/dropping bays for public service vehicles in total disregard of NMS suspension of the activities to allow [us to] review our decongestion strategy,” said Mr Badi through a notice published in local dailies last Friday.

“No person or officer is authorised to allocate or assign picking/dropping bay including parking slots without written authorisation from Director Roads, Transport and Public Works upon approval by the DG,” he added.

Request to undergo scrutiny

Further, such a request for allocation or assignment of picking and dropping bay and parking slots will undergo scrutiny from the committee appointed by NMS to undertake this function.

“Any purported approval granted without following this procedure is null and void,” he warned.

In July, Nairobi MCAs called on NMS to abolish all on-street picking and dropping zones by PSVs within the CBD while raising concerns over how matatus have illegally turned most streets, pedestrian walkways and on-street parking within the city centre into bus stops and parking slots.

In a motion by Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course MCA Mwangi Njihia, the MCAs said the trend has led to increased congestion and accidents particularly to pedestrians.

Decongest city CBD

In September, NMS embarked on a strategy to decongest the Nairobi CBD by setting in motion a plan to relocate matatus away from the city centre.

The plan, which is set to kick-off before the end of the year, will see matatus plying Ngong and Lang’ata roads terminate their journeys at the Green Park bus terminus, popularly known as Railways Club.

Long distance PSVs from Mt Kenya and those from the Thika Road, which have been terminating at Tea room along Accra Road, will drop and pick passengers at Desai and Park Road termini in Ngara.

On the other hand, Muthurwa terminus is expected to remain as it serves PSVs from Jogoo and Lusaka roads.

PSVs from Mombasa Road will terminate at another new terminus at the junction of Bunyala and Workshop Road while matatus using the Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande and Limuru roads will end their journeys at the Fig Tree terminus in Ngara.