Nairobi motorists to pay hourly parking fees in city centre – official

Nairobi city residents walk past a clamped car along Nairobi's Kimathi Street. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Nairobi City County government has drafted a policy that will see city motorists pay for parking hourly.

If adopted, motorists will pay Sh100 in the first hour and Sh50 for the subsequent hours they park in the city centre.

Nairobi County Chief Officer of Mobility Boniface Nyamu said these are part of the efforts by the county government to increase revenue for the next financial year.

“We have seen that especially in CBD, the demand for parking is high than the supply. We have proposed in the next financial 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,” Mr Nyamu said.

He was making a presentation to the Transport and Public Works committee at city hall on the plans that the department has to increase the parking revenue in the next financial year 2023/2024 which begins in July.

Transport and Transport and Public Works chairman Mark Ronaldo, who is also the Umoja 1 MCA, challenged the proposal arguing that it will lead to higher costs for city residents who drive to work.

'Someone takes us to court'

“We do not want to be in a situation where someone takes us to court over the increase in the parking fees. We, therefore, suggest that we have a cap of Sh400 a day for parking within the CBD because this has failed several times,” Mr Ronaldo said.

The County Director of Parking Thomas Karatai also said the county plans to automate parking services, especially those that carry a huge number of vehicles.

These include the Machakos Country Park, City Park and Sunken car parks.

“Due to the short time notice, we decided to push it to the next financial year. When you automate it and make it time-based where someone pays for some hours and gets out, then you will increase the revenue,” Mr Karatai said.

If the Bill is tabled and approved by the county assembly, motorists will pay up to three times what they pay currently as parking fees. Currently, motorists pay Sh200 for parking within the city centre.

For a resident who works in the city centre and arrives at work at 8am and leaves at 5pm, one will be required to pay Sh500. Those who arrive early and stay longer will pay up to Sh600 or more. This translates to between Sh8,000 and Sh12, 000 per month. It is however not clear if the county will keep billing after 5pm, the current cut-off time for paying parking fees.

A similar proposal

The county executive made a similar proposal capping the parking fee 2021 during the Ann Kananu administration but the proposal was shot down by the city MCAs.

The plans come amid complaints by motorists over a faulty parking fee system.

Motorists have reported that they receive messages about unpaid parking fees in CBD even when their cars are away from the city centre.

There are also complaints over collusion between the parking boys and city inspectorate officers who clamp vehicles within the CBD only to frustrate motorists over parking fees.

City Hall collects a huge chunk of its revenue from parking fees. In the last three months, the county collected Sh619.9 million in parking fees.