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Matatu crews bemoan lack of bus stops

Matatu operators plying Eastlands routes want County Hall to designate drop-off points along Jogoo and Outer Ring roads.

Drivers now claim they cannot drop off passengers between City Stadium or anywhere on the slow stretch to Muthurwa terminal for fear of being arrested.

A mini-bus driver on the Komarock Kayole route, Mr Karanja Mukiri, said the traffic police were cashing in on the lack of bus stops to extort bribes from them.

“There is not a single stage in the area and passengers going to Machakos Country Bus Station have to be dropped off at the OTC stage, which is many kilometres away. We need help,” he said.

Another driver, Mr Peter Mabea, said the officers were charging drivers Sh2,000 if they dropped passenger on the Landies Road Stretch.

“It does not make sense to take passengers to OTC and have them walk back, especially if they have heavy luggage,” said Mr Mabea.

The ‘stage’ crisis on Jogoo Road is a major cause of slow traffic at the City Stadium area, the drivers said.

They wondered why the contractor currently fixing the road was not marking out bus stops.

Nairobi County Executive on Roads and Transport, Mr Evans Ondieki, admitted there was a problem, but said that three bus termini would be renovated beginning next month.

“The first to be renovated are Muthurwa market, Kariokor, Park Road, and around Globe Roundabout in the city Centre,” said Mr Ondieki.

He added that the renovation would create more space for the matatus. “Much of traffic congestion in the city has been attributed to lack of adequate bus termini to accommodate the number of vehicles in the city, hence causing disruptions,” noted Mr Ondieki.

A modern bus park will also be put up at a central place in the city centre so that termini outside supermarkets and malls would be no more.

‘‘The stages located near Commercial are the cause of delays when vehicles are entering or leaving town. The number of man hours lost in traffic jams here is just incomprehensible,” said Mr Ondiek.

An independent authority tasked with managing traffic in the city will also be launched, according to a document authored by Mr Ondieki.