Look beyond fees to improve traffic flow
Tough times lie ahead for motorists following Wednesday’s High Court ruling giving the county government the green-light to increase parking fees from Sh140 to Sh300.
The increment ought to have come into effect on November 1 but 26 Matatu Saccos moved to court to block the move on grounds that the county government had failed to consult Nairobians about the new rates.
In his ruling, Justice Isaac Lenaola said he was satisfied that sufficient consultations took place between the county government and the residents, through their elected county ward representatives.
The new rates are contained in the Nairobi City County Finance Act, which was debated and passed by the county assembly on August 26.
Besides raising the parking fees by more than 100 per cent, the new law also increases parking fees charged for cars outside the Central Business District to Sh200 and parking in non-automated areas to Sh400 up from Sh200.
Automated parking will attract a Sh50 an hour charge.
The cost of monthly parking tickets has also shot up, from the current Sh2,000 to Sh5,000 while those on quarterly tickets will have to part with Sh12,000 up from Sh5,500.
The county government says the huge increments will help it raise the revenues required to enable it deliver services to Nairobians.
Even though the Saccos have appealed against the judgement, it is unlikely that the fees will be revised downwards.
Nairobians expect the county government to play its part by delivering proper services. Dr Kidero and his team must ensure problems associated with parking in Nairobi are dealt with once and for all.
The time lost in the search for parking spaces could be put to better use. The county government must ensure that there are enough parking spaces for all before it starts collecting the new parking fees.
It will amount to robbery were the county government to collect monthly or quarterly parking fees from motorists without guaranteeing them that they will get parking space.
The county government must also move fast to rein in cartels that control parking space in the city.
It is common knowledge that these cartels connive with unscrupulous county government parking attendants to conduct their illegal activities.