The Moja Expressway Company has revealed that motorists will soon be able to pay for the Nairobi Expressway using Safaricom’s mobile money product, M-PESA.
This development, which will start from January 2023, will likely be welcomed by many drivers, as the company had previously stated that the decision to delay M-PESA payments was due to concerns that the transactions would cause congestion at toll booths due to their slower processing time compared to cash payments.
Nonetheless, during the company’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday, CEO Steve Zhao announced that M-Pesa will now be accepted as a form of payment.
“We recently put great effort into the M-Pesa team and by January 15, 2023, you do not need to carry cash as M-Pesa will officially be availed as a payment option on the Nairobi Expressway,” said CEO Steve Zha.
The Nairobi Expressway is a KES 89 billion highway that runs from Mlolongo, through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and the Nairobi Central Business District, to the Westlands area along Waiyaki Way.
It features 11 interchanges at key locations, including Mlolongo, the Standard Gauge Railway, the JKIA, the Eastern Bypass, the Southern Bypass, Capital Centre, Haile Selassie Avenue, Museum Hill, Westlands, and James Gichuru Road.
Many Kenyan citizens rely on mobile money services to pay for a wide range of services, and the inability to use this option for the Nairobi Expressway had limited the options of motorists who did not want to pay with cash or cards.
Moja Expressway, a subsidiary of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which operates the Nairobi Expressway, had previously only accepted cash or electronic cards as payment methods.
Motorists now have the option to register for a manual payment system or install an automatic payment system, which will allow them to pass through toll stations more quickly.
Those using manual tolling cards must present a national ID and pay a KES 300 installation service charge, as well as load at least KES 1,000 onto the card.
Electronic tolling card users will need to provide a national ID and the logbook for the vehicle being registered, as well as pay a KES 1,000 installation service charge and load a minimum of KES 2,000 onto the card.
The expressway is the first major project in the country to be implemented through a Public-Private Partnership model and was officially opened by former President Uhuru Kenyatta on July 31.