City Hall plans to charge hourly fees for any vehicle parked within the Central Business District (CBD).
Nairobi Economic Planning Chief Halkano Waqo said the hourly fees are crucial in boosting revenue stream and solving traffic problem.
The hourly rate plan is yet to be set and tabled in the county assembly for approval before being implemented. The current fees chargeable for an entire day of parking is Sh200 within the city center.
Mr. Halkano said that as a growing city Nairobi needed to find new ways of decongesting the city while getting revenue. He said that the hourly charges will reduce the friction between attendants and motorists.
He added that it would be easy paying Sh50 for two hours. If 300 cars park for an hour or two means the slots are vacant to accommodate new motorists.
Parking revenue falling short
The County Government has been losing millions in revenues between parking attendants and motorists avoiding to pay the Sh200.
Attempts to increase the daily fees were resisted by some motorists with the matter still unresolved in court.
Like other cities in the world, city managements are struggling with ways of reducing congestion while maximizing revenue collection. Air pollution is also an issue that cities must eventually deal with as an urbanization problem.
A 2020 report by Nairobi County Assembly’s Budget committee uncovered how motorists are colluding with attendants to steal revenue.
Over Sh437, 500 were being lost via street parking alone with motorists not paying fees to City Hall.
A 2019 report revealed that in the financial year ending 30th June 2017 a total of 1,305,440 vehicles occupied 6,125 slots. Only 402,401 vehicles paid for parking, just 31% of the entire vehicle population.
City Hall collected a paltry Sh1.55 billion in parking revenue in the financial year ended June 30, 2020 against a target of Sh2.8 billion. This represented a performance of 53 percent.
In the current financial year, City Hall had realised a measly Sh4.1 billion (24.8 percent) by the end of the first half of the financial year ending June 30, 2021 against an annual target of Sh16.5 billion.
During the period, parking fees had returned Sh685 million of the annual target of Sh2.8 billion, representing 24.5 percent of the target.
Mr Waqo insisted that the hourly parking fees are expected to lower traffic congestion within the CBD and boost revenue receiving.
Automated sunken parking
To improve revenue collection, City Hall has proposed a number of measures to enhance revenue collection. The proposals include construction of sunken park, increased enforcement and improved supervision to multiply their revenue pool.
In 2019, MCAs passed a motion introducing hourly parking charges for motorists within the city Centre. The ward representatives agreed that having hourly fees would be attractive to motorists bringing more revenue to the county.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) began Automation of parking facilities in preparation for the introduction of hourly CBD parking.
Already automated sunken parking amenities include Desai Road, Nairobi Law Courts Parking and Machakos Bus Station according to Uhuru’s directive.