Motorist in Nairobi were on Wednesday forced to dig deeper into their pockets as the new parking fees took effect.
Private motorists who park in the central business district are now paying Sh400, up from Sh200 they used to pay before the new rates were effected this week.
In a notice dated December 2, 2019, the County Director of Parking Services Tom Tinega said the new rates follow the enactment into law of the Finance Act, 2019, which introduced new tax measures aimed at maximizing Nairobi’s revenue collection.
A spot check by the Nation on various streets in the capital on Wednesday morning revealed that motorists are adhering to the new parking fees rule.
Most parking lots were occupied, with many lamenting about the increased charges but saying they have no option but to obey the law.
“The fees are doubled but using public transport also has its challenges, more so if you drive to and from work every day in your vehicle. The most important thing now is for the county government to use this money properly in service delivery,” said a motorist Japheth Munga who had just parked his vehicle on Wabera Street.
However, others accused Governor Mike Sonko of reneging on his campaign pledge to lower the parking fee, only to raise it later.
“I feel cheated since the governor has contradicted his campaign pledge. Why did he lower it after taking over only to hike it more than even what was charged by the previous administration?,” wondered Abdalla Ahmed while parking his car on Kenyatta Avenue.
Other streets like Moi Avenue were also busy with most parking lots having been occupied by 8.30am.
At the same time, public service vehicles (PSV) plying different routes in the outskirts of the city continued with their operations as usual. Any hike in parking fees is always paid through their saccos.
But according to the law, non-PSV buses will now pay Sh1,000 for a whole day’s parking.
Speaking to Nation by phone, Mr Tinega defended the new parking charges, saying they have not been doubled as it has been reported but increased in the CBD and reduced in the outskirts of the city.
“I want to thank motorists for adhering to the new parking fees but it is good to note that we have not doubled parking fees. In some areas we have reduced (charges) from Sh200 to Sh100 but our main intention is expand space by ensuring new story buildings have parking,” said Mr Tinega.
The county official said that there are no plans to hike the fees again in the near future but added that thorough enforcement will be done to ensure the county meets it revenue collection target of Sh2.7 billion.