Passengers traveling to and from Mombasa and the larger Coast region have gotten a reprieve after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko suspended implementation of Gazette Notice 4479 of May 12, 2017, which effectively banned Public Transport Vehicles from the Nairobi Central Business District starting Monday, December 3.
This was part of measures to decongest the city centre.
There was a public outcry over the ban, with commuters and matatu operators lamenting that it was not the solution to decongesting the city.
Passengers traveling to the Coast were on Monday affected as well. Many presented themselves at their respective booking offices only to be told that they were to head to various pick-up points outside the town so as to get buses to their destinations. No vehicle was allowed near any booking office.
Modern Coast bus management alerted their customers to visit two pick-up points for those traveling to up-country and those heading to the coast.
"Hey! Passengers boarding our buses to upcountry and cross-border they will be boarding from our Muthurwa station opposite country bus station. Note the gate is written DIG TECH BUSINESS CENTRE. Those traveling to Mtito, Mombasa, Voi, Kilifi and Malindi boarding point is our Mombasa road office at Total petrol station. We wish you safe travel," read an alert from Modern Coast Express Ltd on Monday.
On the other hand, Dreamline buses advised passengers to visit various centres outside the CBD to board their vehicles as shared below.
"Good evening esteemed client,
Due to the Gazette notice issued by the County Government of Nairobi, we wish to advise as follows;
All passengers scheduled to depart from our Nairobi office to Kampala, Malindi, Mtwapa, Nyali and Mombasa will be required to board their buses from any of the following offices;
1) Eastleigh Office Located at Shell petrol station on General Waruinge Street opp Nomad Hotel.
Office No: 0791 229 353
*** All Kampala passengers to board from Eastleigh Office ***
2) Mombasa Road Office at Sema Plaza directly opposite Nextgen Mall.
Office No: 0721 966 0003) Mlolongo office at Petmark Petrol Station Office No: 0729 445 500We kindly request that you report at any of the offices at the scheduled reporting time. We wish to confirm that our parcel services will remain uninterrupted. We apologise for the inconvenience caused."
At Tahmeed booking office on Tuesday morning, a customer care representative said the situation had greatly affected the normal schedule of the bus company. He said passengers were worried something that saw many of the buses delay leaving Nairobi for Mombasa and other parts of the country.
At Simba Coach booking offices along River Road, a passenger missed his scheduled vehicle to Busia on Monday night due to the sudden change. He was later booked on a Tahmeed bus on Tuesday morning (4:30 am). The bus had left Mombasa at 7 pm on Monday.
Governor Sonko suspended the ban following a meeting with matatu stakeholders on Monday evening.
"I have noted with deep concern the plight of Nairobi residents as a result of the ban, and hereby announce that the full implementation of this directive has been suspended with immediate effect. This is to facilitate further consultation with all affected parties, in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of vehicular congestion," said the first-time county boss.