A fight between matatu operators and the county government is behind the delay in operationalising the Sh250 million Nairobi’s Green Park bus terminus.
Federation of Public Transport Sector Chairman Edwin Mukabana told the Business Daily that motorists did not ask for any extension but have refused to park at the new station since they could not agree on how it should be operated.
At the centre of the disagreement was the increased passenger fare charged at the facility, the safety of passengers as well as fears that the new parking could create congestion within Nairobi.
“At Green Park (GP) terminal fares were varied depending on operator and individual bus. Fares at GP were higher than what was charged in the CBD. The poor felt disadvantaged while using GP,” Mukabanah said.
He added that the safety of passengers at Green Park was a concern since passengers were not being screened when boarding buses.
“This means that pickpocket incidents at Green Park terminal were likely to increase. CBD has CCTV which was not observed at Green Park Terminal,” he said.
It was also very difficult for passengers to access services as they had to walk from the eastern side of the city to the park and vice versa.
This means that time taken to access public transport from both ends was too long resulting in unnecessary extra expenses.
“In CBD connectivity to rail and other modes was close by. At Green Park it was not easy for passengers going to a destination such as Westlands, Ngara, Gikomba, Machakos Country Bus,” he said.
The 250 million terminus, located at the former Lunar Park, is able to accommodate between 300 and 350 vehicles at any one time, processing about 1,000 PSVs per hour and up to 20,000 per day.
Touting was not allowed at the terminus and matatus were take only 20 minutes within the stage.
All staff (drivers, conductor, and route marshals) were expected to have badges with names, photos, uniforms, Sacco or company name. Also, every route was to have two staff members to assist in operations at the terminus.
Matatus were also barred from picking up or dropping passengers at non-designated places, including the entire stretch of the exit road.
Once fully operational, the bus terminal was to serve as pick-up and drop-off points for matatus from Ngong, Karen, Rongai, Kikuyu, Dagoretti, Kawangware, Kibra, Highrise, Ngumo, Langata, Nairobi West, Makadara, Kaberia, Satellite and Kiserian.