The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is planning to introduce a digital platform to keep commuters informed regarding pick-up and drop-off timings for the last mile buses.
The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) vehicles are available for commuters to complete the last mile into the City Centre and for those who wish to be ferried to their respective termini to board their respective matatus.
The electronic system will be integrated in the termini outside the City Centre to alert users of the Last mile buses’ expected timings at the different stages.
NMS Director of Transport and Public Works, Michael Ochieng said the digital system would help to keep commuters and matatu operators informed.
“This system keeps you informed and, when you have information, you make correct decisions on what time you are planning to do your business, what time to leave your office, when to you go home and so on. That is what we want to integrate,” said Mr Ochieng.
The new development is part of NMS’ plans to decongest the City Centre.
Ochieng said that the GreenPark terminus for commuters along Ngong Road and Lang’ata road will be ready in two weeks’ time.
“It has taken us about a month to complete 80 per cent of Green Park, so for the remaining bit, we may be through in two weeks,” said the NMS transport director.
The terminus is one of the locations set up for Matatus to pick and drop off passengers in the plan to decongest the city. Termini for other routes include Muthurwa, Fig Tree, Desai, Park Road, Workshop road and Bunyala Road.
Ochieng emphasized that the terminus are strictly for pick up and drop off, with a clear plan to ensure constant mobility. This, he said, will help do away with incidents of snarl ups and congestion at the stages.
“The terminuses will not be parking space. They will act as pick up and drop off points with each vehicle having five minutes to drop and another five to pick up passengers,” he said.
The Matatu Owners Association Chairman Simon Kimutai said the plan could fail if the NMS continued to ignore the input of key stakeholders in the sector, as they were more familiar with the operations in the industry.
Mr. Mutai recommended that the NMS gathers the views of all the stakeholders and commuters for better ideas on how to implement the strategy. He said commuters would need to be sensitized on the plan, given that there are about 15,000 matatus plying different routes ferrying more than 2 million commuters every day.
“It is not just an issue of being ready to relocate but the measures being used which we need to understand. We have not been engaged. The other day they were engaging busybodies and not real stakeholders,” he said.
The NMS transport director explained that a date to stop matatus from accessing the CBD was yet to be set. He said matatus will continue ferrying passengers into and out of the city until when everything is ready for the relocation.
He said the date will be announced after “the project is done and we have rehearsed with the matatu operators on how they are going to operate in various sections of the roads”.