Normalcy returns in city bus parks after days of travel chaos

Thursday January 4 2018

Easy Coach bus services

Calm passengers at the Easy Coach bus services booking office in Nairobi on January 4, 2017. Chaos was witnessed in the previous three days following the night travel ban imposed by NTSA resulting to massive delays of passenger movement. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By COLLINS OMULO
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Normalcy is slowly returning in the transport sector in Nairobi after days of chaos, frustration, anger and panic occasioned by the ban on long-distance night travel by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).

The capital city has been a theatre of spectacles involving stranded passengers and overwhelmed public service vehicle operators for three days as students rushed against time to report back to school.

But now most bus parks in Nairobi are reporting reduced activities as the number of those traveling upcountry to either report to school or return home after visiting the city over the December holidays have drastically reduced.

SLUMBER MODE

Easy Coach bus services booking office, which had witnessed high octane drama from angry and frustrated travellers, was in a slumber mode as there were no many people scrambling to board their buses.

“Things are now back to normal after days of pressure from our customers. You can see that there are countable passengers waiting here compared to the crowd which was here yesterday and the day before. In fact, they are below 15 in number,” said Kennedy James, a supervisor at the company.

Mr James added that by 10am, they had cleared the backlog of the travellers who had made advance bookings and currently they are allowing advance bookings again after stopping them for the past three days.

“We are now done with those who had done advance bookings and we are now allowing advance bookings again but for only day travels,” he said.

NO STRANDED PASSENGERS

At the Guardian Angel office, which was a beehive of activities on Wednesday, only three travellers were at the booking office and no stranded passengers were in sight, a far cry from the crowd that had been a common feature in the area for the previous three days.

A similar situation was also witnessed down at the Machakos Country Bus station, where the number of travellers had drastically reduced and you could see some touts fighting for passengers once again, a contrast from the previous three days when passengers had to fight to get a space in the buses even with hiked fares.

“The number of those traveling has reduced. We have now even been forced to reduce the fare from Sh1,500 to Sh1,000 as they are not there,” said a ticket vendor with Nyamira Express going to Kendu Bay through Oyugis.