The Kenya Ferry Services has installed weighbridges at its Likoni crossing to check the tonnage of vehicles ferried across.
The Sh18 million weighbridges on the island and Likoni mainland ramps are part of plans to regulate and monitor ferry capacity to improve safety. The project which is in its commissioning stage is also expected to enhance revenue as vehicles will be paying according to their weight.
"We have introduced the weighing of trailers, Lorries and other vehicles which use the ferry to ensure we know the capacity we are carrying. This will create efficiency of service, improve ferry safety and help prevent accidents as most vehicles lose control due to over loading," Kenya Ferry Services managing director Musa Hassan Musa said.
Musa said all vehicles using the channel would undergo weight checks before being cleared to board the ferries to enable the company determine the actual volume of cargo ferried at any given time for proper planning and decision making.
"Over loaded trucks is the main cause of damage to ferry prows which means we have to undertake frequent maintenance. Determining the right weight of vehicles will help us minimize the damage these vehicles exert on ferry prows thus reducing maintenance costs," the MD said.
He noted the company spends more than Sh60 million annually to fully maintain and operate the current five ferries at the channel.
"Currently, the billing has been calibrated to coincide with the current toll rates thus no change in toll charges," he said.
Trailers are expected to pay a minimum of Sh7, 800 while salon cars will pay Sh90 to be ferried across.
About 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles are ferried between the island and the south coast mainland every day.