The Nairobi expressway, which is set to be opened to the general public on May 14, 2022, will feature several payment discounts.
Moja Expressway, a subsidiary of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), recently publicised a discount system in a bid to encourage road users to adopt their card payment system.
Moja Expressway will manage and collect all proceeds from the road for 27 years before handing it over to Kenya.
The company, in collaboration with the Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA), announced that all motorists using Electronic Toll Cards would receive a 5% discount each time they load their cards with Ksh2000 worth of points, or more.
As for motorists who opt to use manual toll cards, a 2% discount is in store once the card is loaded with Ksh2,000 worth of points, or more.
It was further revealed that Lipa na Mpesa would not be accepted, with delays and potential traffic snarl ups cited as the key reason behind the exclusion of the popular mobile money platform.
Motorists can register to use a manual payment system, or install an automatic payment system, which allows them to pass through tolling stations more quickly.
Manual vs Electronic Toll Cards
Motorists intending to use the 27-kilometre stretch of road, will require a special toll payment card to access the route.
Manual tolling card users must have a national identity card (ID) to register for the card, which costs Ksh300 for installation service charge and must be loaded with at least Ksh1,000 in points for activation.
On the other hand, those who opt for the Electronic tolling card will be required to produce their ID and the logbook of the vehicle being registered. They will then have to pay a Ksh1,000 installation service charge, and load the card with a minimum of Ksh2,000 points.
Motorists who load their cards with Ksh5,000 in toll points will not have to pay an installation service charge.
The electronic toll card is fitted on an On-Board Unit (OBU). The OBU is then preloaded and when such a vehicle approaches the toll station, the system is scanned, and the motorist can drive through without having to stop.
The beauty with OBU is that it reduces the time you take at entry and exit points because as you approach, it detects and automatically opens.
However, the Manual Toll Card has the advantage of not being tagged to a particular vehicle. This then means that one can give their friend this particular card to use in a different car.
To access these options, motorists can go to the expressway operations centre on Mombasa Road near Cabanas.
It is important to note that cash payment will also be accepted based on the size of the vehicle. However, road users are encouraged to register for the electronic cards as this will guarantee faster service and counter any potential traffic snarl ups at toll stations.
Due to the weakening of the shilling against the US dollar over the last year, the payment rates have also been adjusted. Motorists will now pay between Ksh120-Ksh1,800, up from the previous rate range of Ksh100-Ksh1,550.
High-capacity vehicles such as lorries will be charged between Ksh600 and Ksh1,800 for using the expressway as per the distance covered while low-capacity vehicles will pay between Ksh120 and Ksh360.
The amount charged will be dependent on the distance travelled, as the expressway has 11 interchanges at Mlolongo, Standard Gauge Railway, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass, Capital Centre, Haile Selassie Avenue, Museum Hill, Westlands and James Gichuru Road. (See the breakdown of charges by distance in the last section of this article).
Nairobi Expressway Dos and Don'ts
There are various rules and regulations that will govern the Nairobi Expressway, with an array of fines/penalties imposed on anyone deemed to be in violation of the said rules.
Motorists using the Nairobi Expressway will be required to move at a speed of 80km/h.
On the expressway, U-turns and reversals are prohibited, and motorists who miss their planned exit must proceed to the next toll station to exit.
Several activities on the expressway have also been prohibited, including graffiti and scribbling on expressway property and erecting billboards without prior authorisation.
Race car drivers have also been targeted because any type of speed test or race is banned on the expressway.
Motorcycles, bicycles, scooters and tuktuks will not be allowed to access the highway. Also prohibited are pedestrians and skaters. Others prohibited are wheelbarrows and handcarts.
A yet-to-be-published Moja Expressway road administration manual will detail the various fines and penalties. These run as high as a million shillings or more if damage is caused to any of the high-tech machines installed at the various toll stations.
For example, any damage to the cantilever variable information board, which provides information on the direction of a vehicle, will result in a Ksh8.8 million fine.
Damage to the concrete pavement will be penalised at Ksh6,592, as will scratches on the pavement (Ksh2,362), guardrails (Ksh45,348), and signboards (Ksh34,547- Ksh81,120), among other things.
The 27.1 kilometre overpass road, built at a cost of Ksh88 billion through a public private partnership, is expected to save Kenyans or travellers considerable time given the perennial traffic crisis in the capital city. It will take one about 15 minutes from the JKIA to an office in Westlands.
The design of the Nairobi Expressway is such that the first 15.5km (Mlolongo to Nextgen Mall) is built at grade level; 8.5km (Nextgen Mall to St. Mark in Westlands) as an elevated road – followed by a 3.6km ground level road from ACK St. Mark’s Church, Westlands to the James Gichuru Road junction.
The section between Eastern Bypass and Southern Bypass is a six-lane dual carriageway, while Mlolongo to Eastern Bypass, and Southern Bypass to James Gichuru is a four-lane dual carriageway.
The elevated highway begins near Ole Sereni Hotel and runs through the CBD along Uhuru Highway up to James Gichuru junction.
Breakdown of Cost of Travelling on The Nairobi Expressway
(The figures are all in Ksh)
James Gichuru to JKIA and Eastern bypass - 300
James Gichuru to Southern bypass - 240
James Gichuru to Capital Centre and Haile Selassie Av - 180
James Gichuru to Museum Hill - 120
Westlands to JKIA - 300
Westlands to Eastern Bypass - 240
Westlands to Southern Bypass and Capital Centre - 180
Westlands to Museum Hill and Haile Selassie - 120
Museum Hill to JKIA and Eastern Bypass - 240
Museum Hill to Southern Bypass - 180
Museum Hill to Capital Centre and Haile Selassie - 120
Haile Selassie to JKIA - 240
Haile Selassie to Eastern Bypass -180
Haile Selassie to Southern Bypass - 120
Haile Selassie to Capital Centre - 120
Haile Selassie to Museum Hill -120
Haile Selassie to Westlands - 120
Haile Selassie to James Gichuru - 180
Capital Centre to JKIA - 180
Capital Centre to Eastern Bypass - 180
Capital Centre to Southern Bypass - 120
Capital Centre to Museum Hill - 120
Capital Centre to Westlands - 180
Capital Centre to James Gichuru - 180
Southern Bypass to JKIA - 180
Southern Bypass to Eastern Bypass - 120
Southern Bypass to Capital Centre - 120
Southern Bypass to Museum Hill - 180
Southern Bypass to Westlands - 180
Southern Bypass to James Gichuru - 240
Eastern Bypass to JKIA - 120
Eastern Bypass to Southern Bypass - 120
Eastern Bypass to Capital Centre - 180
Eastern Bypass to Museum Hill - 240
Eastern Bypass to Westlands - 240
Eastern Bypass to James Gichuru - 300
JKIA to Eastern Bypass - 120
JKIA to Southern Bypass - 180
JKIA to Capital Centre - 180
JKIA to Museum Hill - 240
JKIA to Westlands - 300
JKIA to James Gichuru - 300
SGR to Eastern Bypass - 120
SGR to Southern Bypass - 180
SGR to Capital Centre - 240
SGR to Museum Hill - 300
SGR to Westlands - 300
SGR to James Gichuru - 300
Mlolongo to Westlands - 360
Mlolongo to James Gichuru - 360
Mlolongo Main to SGR - 120
Mlolongo Main to Eastern Bypass -180
Mlolongo Main to Southern Bypass - 240
Mlolongo Main to Capital Centre - 240
Mlolongo Main to Museum Hill - 300
The toll rates are set for future adjustments based on not just the prevailing exchange rate, but also changes in the Consumer Price Index.