The Kenya Ferry Services have introduced a cashless system for motorists using the Likoni channel. Through a post on Facebook, the state agency said that payments will now be made through Mpesa.
“We are glad to inform our customers that the company has introduced cashless payment solution, which will enable customers pay toll charges with M-Pesa,” reads the brief statement.
Motorists crossing from either Mombasa Island or the mainland side will now pay their toll fees by dialing *721#
The vehicles covered include saloon cars, Pickups, trucks, trailers, buses, fuel tankers and motorcycles. Mkokoteni pushers will also be able to use the service. Motorists penalized at the channel will also be able to pay their fines using their phones.
“The system is convenient and time saving,” the KFS management added in its statement.
Motorists are hopeful that the new payment system will help ease congestion at the channel.
“We just hope that the system will be efficient at all times to avoid disruptions. We are tired of spending hours at this channel because of slow services,” said David Kahindi, a motorist who uses the channel frequently.
Slow services at the toll station are mainly the cause for the long traffic queues for thousands of motorists. Due to this, officials at the station are forced to walk to the motorists and give them tickets to ease traffic flow.
This has raised a lot of questions as to why tickets are printed before a vehicle gets to the toll charge station. Motorists have been forced to spend hours at the channel due to traffic snarl ups from both sides of the crossing.
The Likoni channel is used by more than 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles daily.
Five ferries serve at the crossing and one operates at the Mtongwe channel. The vessels are Mv Safari, Mv Jambo, Mv Nyayo, Mv Kilindini, Mv Kwale and Mv Likoni.
The new ferries Mv Safari and Mv Jambo have boosted services at the channel because of the capacity to carry a high number of both vehicles and commuters.