Sometime in 2004, Nairobi’s shitty transport services was changed by purple-painted buses which had crew who were dressed in uniform and courteous. This was the beginning of Double M.
This was a little before late transport Minister John Michuki rules came in and for the first time in eons, Nairobi residents especially from lower classes felt like humans.
In the past, that’s before 2004, Nairobians were hurdled like cows inside a shed. And the most disheartening thing was that a lot of women were abused inside such ‘cowsheds’.
Most people don’t know but Double M bus was a partnership between two close family members, one was christened Express Connections and the other Commuter Train.
Cases of a man removing his private part, masturbating and emptying the contents of his balls on a woman’s backside were reported in many routes. The notorious ones were Dandora, Buruburu and also in the commuter trains.
The other menace was that some people would board and alight without paying the fare in some Nairobi buses. Those that used the KBS buses that had multiple doors can attest to this.
Double M changed all these.
No loud music
The bus also didn’t want to disturb tired commuters with loud music. Nairobi life is already hard and listening to loud unnecessary music while going home in the evening is a lot of stress.
Double M buses are always quiet and serene.
The other thing is that the bus company also charged stable fare on its routes. The fares to this day, aren’t affected by rain as in other Matatus. In other matatus, when it rains in Nairobi, he fares sometimes doubles; it is also expensive to ride on matatus during rush hours. Double M was not like this, for a long time, the most they charged, for example, a route like Umoja 35/60 was Sh60, while other bus companies such as Umoinner etc put their fares between Sh80 – Sh150.
The rain started beating the bus company after the owner Mugo Mwangi died in Dec 2011. It has been a downward spiral as the buses aren’t serviced and the staff seems to have learned a few bad behaviors from their unruly counterparts in the Sacco bus firms.
Double M used to attract the best employees, but now those have been run out of town, literally, and the bus firm is now attracting those that have been fired from Umoinner, Outreach, and other rogue Saccos.
The financial situation, at the bus firm worsened after the lady, the wife to the owner Ms. Mary Mwangi, who now deemed it fit to run in the elections as an MP for Embakasi East. Not once, but twice in 2013 and 2017.
Election campaigns are not cheap and she has lost a lot of money in the process. As time goes by, she stands no chance of clinching such a big political seat, maybe she should try Member of County Assembly (MCA), because current Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and his Challenger Francis Mureithi are very young and going nowhere.
08:23 Man hit and killed at Jogoo road on the rail bridge just after Donholm round about by a Double M bus. Police on site, but snarl up all the way into outering and Manaja rd via @Platuex
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) December 3, 2020
Solutions for ailing Double M
Though this is not a very thorough assessment of the troubles bedeviling commuter service bus company, it presents a snapshot of its woes. And I believe that, for the firm to heal and get back to winning ways, the lady, should cede some shares in the company and let it be controlled by someone else.
Kenyans still love Double M, they’ll stand in the line, during sunshine, cold and even rainy nights just to wait for one to ferry them home after work.
In Eastlands, the bus plied Umoja, Buruburu, Komarock, Donholm Routes. The bus also plied the Kawangware route.
Some of the reasons given for this cult-like following of Double M buses is the quietness, good mannered crew (at least this is remembering the past) and four seats in a row, which makes the buses spacious.
Save this great bus company.
Some notable accidents that ruined the company’s reputation
Prominent cartoonist, Frank Odoi, died in the Double M accident on Saturday on Jogoo road http://t.co/Ojhd0BxH
— Dennis Kioko – Not Bad, It's the People Around Me (@denniskioko) April 25, 2012
JUST IN: Siku Njema author and Journalist Ken Walibora's remains have been traced to KNH mortuary. He was hit by a Double M bus while crossing landhies road – reports. pic.twitter.com/vA4M02DdIq
— TV47 Kenya (@tv47ke) April 15, 2020
20:46 @NPSOfficial_KE this Double M bus has just hit car on Ole Dume road exactly at 8pm the bus driver has it has ran away, impunity of the highest order .kindly assist pic.twitter.com/TwXjw6NxUC via @MbauGitau
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) September 6, 2019
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) June 29, 2020
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) April 11, 2017
19:03 Witnessed almost fatal accident at Kenyatta Ave – Ngong Rd junction at 18.15 today. Luminous Sacco KBR484P hit by Double M bus, almost toppled. Who's to blame? @ntsa_kenya @PoliceKE @NMS_Kenya @PSCharlesHinga pic.twitter.com/tfWNmmRHYA via @Mital_KE
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) July 2, 2020
— Ma3Route (@Ma3Route) September 3, 2015
— Glena Nyamwaya (@GeezSmile) April 13, 2015
Covering news about Eastlands especially Umoja, Kayole and Buruburu estates