NMS digital plan to end matatu chaos

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NMS digital plan to end matatu chaos


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Matatus along Accra Road, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to introduce digital queuing system and smart cameras in termini in Nairobi as part of a plan to end matatu madness in the capital city.
  • The plan will also see police posts established within the termini to ensure enforcement.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to introduce digital queuing system and smart cameras in termini in Nairobi as part of a plan to end matatu madness in the capital city.

The plan will also see police posts established within the termini to ensure enforcement.

Nairobi termini have gained notoriety for being dens of gangs posing as touts and pickpockets harassing passengers and preying on unsuspecting commuters.

To streamline the area, the digital queuing system will control how public service vehicles (PSVs) operate in the termini to ensure controlled picking and dropping of passengers. The cameras, on the other hand, will help in digitally monitoring whatever goes on in the termini.

NMS is currently constructing six out-of-city-centre bus termini — Green Park, Desai and Park Road, Fig Tree, Muthurwa, and one at the junction of Bunyala and Workshop Road.

Already, NMS is in the process of contracting a firm in a government-to-government contract to roll out the plan.

NMS boss Major General Mohamed Badi said the smart cameras will be linked to operation centres at police headquarters and NMS to monitor every action in the bus termini.

Designated officers will also be put in the operation centres to keep watch.

“Let’s say you are driving from Ngong Road, as the bus comes to the terminus in town, the officers at the operational centre will be able to see that bus coming and will arrange how the matatu will come and drop passengers by automatically putting it in the queuing system,” said Mr Badi.

“That helps in ensuring PSVs are disciplined in terms of picking and dropping passengers leading to law and order in the termini,” he added.

Every sacco will further be asked to nominate a representative to sit in the operations room to take ownership when members of their sacco misbehave.

To control matatu chaos caused by touting, last week, NMS Director for Transport and Public Works Engineer Michael Ochieng said no touting will be allowed in the modern termini as technology will take over where an electronic board will control movement of the PSVs.

The matatus will be required to queue according to their saccos, and drivers will follow directions from the screens mounted at the terminus.

Major General Badi said the plan will also help in reducing amounts of crimes committed within Nairobi as every street and termini will be under surveillance.

“The police officers in the bus termini police posts’ will be charged with enforcement to restore law and order across the city,” said Mr Badi.

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