State increases Nairobi Expressway toll charges

Nairobi Expressway

One of the Nairobi Expressway toll stations.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Kenyans will pay more to use the Nairobi Expressway, after the government on Friday gazetted new toll rates for motorists who will use the Chinese-built partially elevated highway.

The construction of the 27km road that runs from Mlolongo to Westlands is almost complete. It has been touted as a game changer in efforts to reduce traffic congestion on Mombasa Road, which runs underneath it.

The highway is financed by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the parent firm of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), in a public-private partnership (PPP).

Motorists with saloon cars will pay Sh50 more to use the expressway from Mlolongo to Westlands, after Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia raised the toll charges from Sh310 to Sh360 in the new gazette notice.

Meanwhile, the cost of using the road from the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) station in Mlolongo and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Westlands has been increased to Sh300 from Sh260, while those travelling from Capital Centre to the same destination will pay Sh180, up from Sh160.

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 4B (3) of the Public Roads Toll Act, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works approves the toll rates for [the] Nairobi Expressway as set out in the schedule,” said Mr Macharia in the notice.

“Gazette notice No. 11326 of 2020 is revoked.” He added that the new prices may be adjusted in line with changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and foreign exchange rates on and after the expressway opens to the public.

The new prices affect all motor vehicle types, with heavy vehicles with fewer than four axles to pay four times the amount paid by motorists with saloon cars, while those with more than four axles will pay five times the lowest rate.

The new prices will cushion the earnings of the road’s operator against currency fluctuations even as the Kenyan shilling continues to weaken.

They are factored into the exchange rate of Sh113 against the US dollar taken in December 2021, Sh10 more than the Sh103 the local currency was trading at against the greenback when the old prices were gazetted in December 2020.

Moja Expressway, a subsidiary of CCCC, will operate the road for 27 years to recoup its investment through toll fees. The highway will have 27 toll booths.

The dual carriageway will have 11 interchanges, including at the Standard Gauge Railway terminus, at JKIA, the Eastern Bypass, the Southern Bypass and Enterprise Road.

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