The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) on Thursday, June 23, prematurely abandoned the final test run of the Green Park terminus on its second day.
A spot check by Kenyans.co.ke revealed that the terminus was deserted, despite NMS announcing that the trial would run for four days ahead of its official launch.
A section of the staff deployed to oversee the process intimated that they had been instructed to direct the public service vehicles to the Central Business District (CBD) after the exercise was cancelled.
The test-run had caused an uproar among Nairobi commuters residing along Lang’ata and Ngong’ roads, who accused NMS of conducting the exercise impromptu, causing them great inconvenience.
Commuters were forced to walk up to two kilometres from the terminus located opposite the Nairobi Railway Club to the CBD. They claimed that authorities overlooked the plight of the sick and People Living With Disabilities (PLWD).
In addition, the high human traffic caused congestion at the Haile Selassie roundabout. However, NMS Transport Director Eng. Michael Ochieng refuted the ambush claims, stating that the notice of the test-run had been widely circulated.
On matters pedestrian traffic, he noted that a tunnel would be constructed for safe movement of passengers from the park to other parts of the city.
“The tunnel will go along in enhancing the operationalization of our services and making sure that people are safe,” Ochieng revealed.
Notably, matatu owners also criticized the move, stating that they had incurred losses over the confusion. While they offloaded passengers at the bus stop, the procedure of picking passengers was not clear-cut.
“If within only four hours, such huge losses were incurred, what about if it is done for five days? The terminus is too small for the vehicles and that’s why it cannot happen,” lamented Peter Mabeya, the chair of Highrise Kibera Sacco.
NMS Director General Major General Mohamed Badi had announced that the test run would have two phases – one affecting PSVs terminating at the Railways station and the other touching matatus plying the Ngong’ and Lang’ata routes.
While the Green Park terminus was constructed to ease traffic congestion in Kenya’s capital, the park is yet to be officially launched. Apart from the suspended test run, the Badi-led institution also faces challenges over payment of contractors.