Having lived along Waiyaki way for almost a decade, I have seen different 33 seaters dominate the route. We call them matatus. From the common Star bus came Metro trans which later split* to Super Metro. The latter two transport matatus joined the route as the towns from Nairobi to the last stage – which is Kikuyu Town – expanded and grew.
Needless to say, Star bus has been dominating the route from the late 1990s.
Assuming you board from Kinoo. There are 15 common stages matatus use as a pick up or drop off points.
3. Kwa miti
10. St Mark
14. Town University way or Town, Ngara
15. Nairobi City Center.
Average time spent on each stage is roughly 3 mins or less to call for commuters to fill empty seats. If the vehicle is full, it takes less time since it only drops people who have arrived at their destined stage. So, as you approach the city center, most matatus go dropping people and reach the city center almost empty.
This is rarely the case for Star Bus. These 15 stages can be broken down to even 20. Both the driver and the tout have this working code of stopping at every stage whether or not their vehicle is full.
Hell has no fury if you board it when almost empty. They will stop at every stage. A parking spot will be converted to a stage. They will stop where there is a group of people and ask them if they are going, yet they found them standing and talking amongst each other. When the driver thinks he can stop, he will. If the tout decides he can stop the vehicle for the sake of it, he will stop.
This habit will always create unnecessary traffic. Hooting to the driver only makes matters worse. He will look at you from the side mirror and look at his tout from the other side mirror. If the driver notices no one is boarding he will hoot back. If you insist on hooting, he will only step on the accelerator, remove smoke from the exhaust and remain the same spot until he sees the boys in uniform -traffic police.
All the information shared above is from observation and is very common during off peaks times from 9 am onwards. It also relates to a one-way journey to the city center. On your way back is another story you may want to look forward to it all together.