Owners of private bays ponder next move after county reduces daily parking fees

Nairobi City Council staff collect parking fees along Muindi Mbingu street in Nairobi. [Beverlyne Musili/Standard]
The reduction of parking fees by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s administration from Sh300 to Sh200 has pressurised the private parking owners to follow suit.

Majority of the private parking lots in the city charge Sh300 and the reduction of the charges by the county government make them more expensive.

But the reduction comes with consequences, including possible congestion. As the number of vehicles entering the city is expected to swell, so will the snarl-ups on several roads.

Some operators of private parking bays say they will adopt a wait-and-see attitude to monitor if there will be shortage of parking slots owned by the county government before deciding on whether to reduce their charges.

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No change

“There is also the aspect of security, which most of our clients enjoy. We also have people on standby to help with cleaning and any other services that they will not get at the county-owned spaces,” said Victor Ouma, an attendant at a parking lot across Central Park.

The parking attendants at the place that was once Simmers Bar and Restaurant along Kenyatta Avenue said they were yet to receive a directive to reduce the charges.

“I don’t think we shall change anything. Our clients have never complained about the cost of parking here and even after the announcement by City Hall, they have not said anything,” said an attendant.

Earlier, County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Mbatia had said the reduction was necessitated by non-compliance by motorists.

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Private motorists

“People opted to corrupt the attendants with Sh100 and risk being clamped but by reducing the fee to Sh200 we are confident motorists will pay,” Mbatia said.

But as private vehicle owners are celebrating the reduction of the fees, large transport companies and betting firms will dig deeper into their pockets after higher charges were recommended in the City County Finance Bill 2018.

The Finance Bill has introduced new charges to the income generating activities that were not being taxed for their operations by the county.

Large transport companies with over 100 vehicles will be required to pay Sh300,000 a year while those with 51 to 100 vehicles will pay Sh100,000.

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Those with less than 50 vehicles will pay a yearly fee of Sh50,000.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonkoparking fees