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Nairobi eyes parking as top earner with e-tickets

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A parking attendant at work in Nairobi. City Hall says the cashless payment will eliminate loss of collections. Photo/FILE

Electronic ticketing and enhanced fees could see parking become the second highest revenue earner for City Hall, accounting for more than 15 per cent of internally generated income.

The county is gearing up to embrace e-payment in efforts to seal loopholes, raising monthly collection above the current Sh200 million.

The car park department’s collection target in the 2014/15 financial year as set in the County Fiscal Strategy Paper is Sh2.2 billion, which translates to Sh184 million per month.

The Sh2.2 billion makes it the joint third highest revenue source with business permits while land rates and building permit fees are expected to net Sh4.1 billion and Sh2.4 billion respectively.

But according to the accountant in charge of car parks Tom Tinega, current collection is about Sh200 million per month meaning that the projected annual collection at current levels is already Sh2.4 billion; at par with building permits.

He added that they expect some upward trend as the cashless system eliminates the pilferage afforded by the current system.

READ: City Hall automates revenue collection to curb theft

The outsourcing of collection and the e-ticketing are a response to concerns that the current mode of collection is vulnerable to collusion between attendants and motorists especially with the higher rates laid out by the County Finance Act.

The move will see motorists use plastic cards and mobile money to settle their parking fees with their payment details captured in a system expected to be rolled out soon by JamboPay; the company that won a tender to handle City Hall’s cashless payments.

However, there is no definite date for the switch to cashless with JamboPay said to be studying City Hall’s parking system before rolling out.

“We’ve taken them through the systems we apply. What they are doing is capturing all parking areas in the city and doing other groundwork necessary for their system.

“We’ve given them all the help they require and what is left is for them to give us a date when the implementation will begin,” said Mr Tinega.

The current parking attendants, usually identifiable by their yellow coats, will now inspect, checking that payment has been made by use of electronic gadgets that will match the vehicle’s registration to the company’s database.

It, however, seems unlikely that the county will review the enhanced parking fees. Mr Tinega said matatus and taxis that have stood out opposing the Sh300 per day fees.

For the most part, the county seems to have won the parking fees court battles with only a section of taxis having an injunction that exempts them from paying the new fees.

Mr Tinega ruled out a phased implementation, saying all areas where parking fees are levied would be shifted to the new system at the same time.

In high vehicle density commercial areas like the CBD, private motorists pay Sh300 daily while in other zones like Buruburu, motorists pay Sh200 to park.

The city has 12,000 parking slots which cater for the 700,000 vehicles in the city although private car parks also take a share of the business.

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