Motorists seeking to use the Nairobi Expressway in the early days will not be allowed to pay via M-Pesa, as their options are limited to cash and electronic cards.
According to reports from officials who talked to Business Daily, the decision to delay M-Pesa payments was because transactions via cash were seen as quick and “M-Pesa payment would result in traffic congestion at tolling points.”
Today, a lot of Kenyans pay for goods and services via M-Pesa and it has so far been convenient to them. The decision to delay M-Pesa payment at toll stations will limit motorists who wish to use the road without using cash or cards.
The expressway toll management team is considering to incorporate M-Pesa into the payment system but just not at the moment. However, a lot of motorists will be limited during the time when the toll stations will not be accepting M-Pesa.
The mobile money transfer service has been imprinted into the Kenyan culture and millions of Kenyans rarely walk around with cash.
The company has unveiled a discount system to boost card payments for motorists that will load their cards with a minimum of Sh2,000 in toll points as part of a plan to woo more users on the road.
Kenya National Highway Authority deputy director for corporate communication Samwel Kumba said motorists using Electronic Toll Cards on the road will get a five percent discount every time they load their cards with Sh2,000 points.
Road users planning to use Manual Toll Cards will get a two percent discount when they load a minimum of Sh2,000 in points on their cards.
Motorists have either the option of registering to use a manual payment system or installing an automatic payment system, which will allow them to go through tolling stations faster.
Those using manual tolling cards are required to have a national identity card (ID) to register for the card, which will cost Sh300 for installation service charge and at least Sh1,000 must be loaded in points.
Electronic tolling card users will be required to produce an ID and the logbook of the vehicle being registered and pay a Sh1,000 installation service charge and a minimum of Sh2,000 to be loaded onto the card.
Motorists under the same category planning to use the road when it will be opened for public use starting Saturday who load their points with Sh5,000 in toll points will not pay an installation service charge.
The Sh88 billion expressway will be opened this month depending on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s calendar. It links Mlolongo to the Nairobi-Nakuru highway via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Motorists will pay between Sh120-Sh1,800, up from the previous rates of between Sh100-Sh1,550 to use the road.
The government last month increased the charges to cushion the Chinese investor funding the road against exchange losses in the wake of the shilling weakening to record lows against the dollar.
The new rates are based on the dollar trading as of last December, which was Sh113.14 up from Sh103.79 in 2020.