The Star (Nairobi)

13 December 2012

Kenya: Motorists May Soon Pay More for Ferry Services

Kenya Ferry Services has made a tariff review proposal that will see vehicles crossing the channel pay up to 30 per cent more in two years. KFS management said the new tariffs will facilitate operations as the company deals with numerous challenges including insecurity.

Cars measuring 3.5 metres will be required to pay Sh80 toll charges in the financial year 2012/2013 and Sh90 in 2013/2014, up from the current Sh60.

Trucks measuring five metres will pay Sh250 in 2012/2013 and Sh280 in 2013/2014, up from Sh195. The current charges were approved by the government in 2010.

They were commissioned when the KFS operations almost came to a halt because it was running at a loss and the infrastructure had deteriorated.

KFS managing director Musa Hassan said the new tariffs will ensure the operations are stabilised to weather the economic turbulence. He said priority will be given to security.

Speaking at a meeting in a Mombasa hotel, Hassan said he has signed three Memoranda of Understanding with the police and the National Youth Service to offer support in curbing crime at the channel.

"Even though we face so many challenges and the machines fail us at times, we promise to improve our services," he said. Despite frequent mishaps with the ferries, the KFS management said ferry service provision at Likoni and Mtongwe channels has improved compared to last year.

Service provision, measured in terms of reliability and availability, rose to 99 and 99.4 per cent respectively compared to 98 and 86 per cent last year, according to KFS.

KFS has a fleet of seven ferries. It serves about 1.9 million vehicles annually with an expected annual increment of five per cent. About 100 million pedestrian are ferried across the two channels annually.

The tariffs review is expected to fund extended service hours and provide ferry service to the greater Mombasa region with possible extension to Kilifi, Malindi, Lamu and the South Coast.

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