City Hall eyes hourly parking charges
City residents are set to dig deeper into their pockets following the Nairobi county government’s proposal to increase parking fees from the current Sh200 to Sh650 a day.
The move was revealed by Chief Officer Mobility Boniface Nyamu who said that they have drafted a policy that will see city motorists pay for parking hourly.
If the proposal sails through, vehicle owners will be required to part with not less than Sh15,000 a month, a significant increase from the current Sh5,600 a month.
“We have seen that especially in Central Business District (CBD), the demand for parking is high than the supply. We have proposed in the next finance bill to increase the amount of money that one pays for parking. We will be billing hourly meaning that the more you stay in CBD, the more you pay. This will increase the parking revenue and discourage congestion,” said Nyamu.
According to Nyamu, once in town for the first-hour motorist will pay Sh100. For the remaining hours, one will be required to pay Sh50 per hour until they go back to their homes.
Currently, motorists pay Sh200 daily for on street and lot parking of small vehicles in and outside CBD.
However, Nairobi County Assembly Minority Whip Mark Mugambi said the move to increase the fees to Sh600 is too much urging the amount to be capped to Sh400.
Parking fees are one of the top three revenue streams for City Hall, but it has continued to under perform mainly due to corruption.
City Hall raised Sh798.67 million from parking fees in the six months that ended December 2022, well below half of the targeted Sh3.025 billion.
In total, the county raised Sh2.73 billion in internal revenues from all streams in the six months to last December, the lowest since devolution, after a Sh1.07 billion drop from a similar period a year earlier.
This is the lowest that City Hall has collected in the first half of a financial year since the start of devolution a decade ago with the closest to this level being Sh3.105 billion netted in the six months to December 2017.
Collection of parking fees in Nairobi county has remained a thorny issue for the Sakaja administration after the county terminated Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) from collecting revenue.
Despite terminating the service of KRA, the county has been having problems collecting revenue using the new system, Nairobi pay.
This is not the first time, the devolved unit has tabled proposals to increase parking charges.
The county executive made a similar proposal capping the parking fee during governor Ann Kananu administration but the proposal was shot down by the Ward Reps.
Former Governor Mike Sonko also proposed to increase parking to Sh400.
In December 2019, Nairobi public transport operators rejected City Hall’s increment of parking fees, saying it had no justification. The Consumer Federation of Kenya sued to stop the increase in parking fees.
The court ordered City Hall to reverse parking fee charges from Sh400 to Sh200.
In addition, City Hall also plans to automate parking services within the CBD.
Among the parking spaces targeted include City Park, and Sunken Park among others.