Make city decongestion plan a reality and fast

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 00:00 | By
Traffic congestion in the city. Photo/Courtesy

Order, predictability, and efficiency makes any transport system stand out. This, coupled with proper infrastructure is the joy of any commuter.

Nairobi has had many failed attempts at streamlining its transport system. The motivation has always been to decongest the Central Business District (CBD). 

With every leader coming up with a blueprint that looks reasonable; it beats logic why they have all failed.

When the government designated the Muthurwa Bus terminus as the matatu stop for Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) from the city’s populous Eastlands area, even cynic thought it would work. It did not. 

Many vehicles circumvented their routes and found themselves back in town. When the elections neared, the officials looked the other way as drivers and conductors breached all the rules.

December 1,2020 was the latest date given for decongesting the city by keeping matatus out of the CBD.

PSVs plying Ngong and Lang’ata roads (Kawangware, Kikuyu, Kibera, Lang’ata, Rongai, Kiserian) were to terminate at Green Park, popularly known as Railways Club, whose terminus is almost complete.

The Fig Tree terminus at Ngara was to serve matatus from Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway, Kipande and Limuru roads.

PSVs from Mombasa Road (South B, South C, Industrial Area, Imara Daima, Athi River, Kitengela, Machakos) were to terminate at another new terminus at the junction of Bunyala and Workshop Road, which is still under construction.

The Muthurwa terminus is expected to remain as it serves PSVs from Jogoo and Lusaka roads.

A park-and-ride facility will see commuters heading to the city centre board buses for the final parts of their journeys.

Walkways on the busy motorways will guide placement of initial stations for the Bus Rapid Transit network.

But hardly had the ink dried than the order faced serious opposition from politicians and matatu sector operatives.

Among their worries was how the plan was conceived without their input. The players said they were not consulted.

Any time from now the Nairobi Metropolitan Services is expected to roll out its plan to keep matatus out of the CBD.

And as expected the plan is already facing opposition.  Players cite the same reason; they were not consulted. 

Many projects have failed because stakeholders were not on the table when they were being conceptualised.

We ask city fathers to sit and agree with the different players on how to execute the plan. For it to succeed, everyone must be brought on board.

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