Residents of Mombasa County have hailed Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for streamlining operations at the Likoni Ferry Crossing channel since the Kenya Ferry Service was amalgamated with KPA.
According to a report by KPA Managing Director Captain (Capt.) William Ruto, the 24-hour ferry service complements road transport. The Ferry service facilitates transportation to an estimated 126,000,000 million pedestrians and 2,560,000 motorists annually along the Likoni channel.
“The efficient provision of ferry services continues to be a crucial component in moving people and commodities between the Mombasa Islands and the southern mainland, fostering social-economic growth in the agricultural, tourism, manufacturing, and service sectors,” said Capt. William Ruto.
The crossing channel is used by over 300,000 passengers and 6,000 vehicles daily, leading to heavy congestion, particularly during peak hours in the morning and evening.
The Dongo Kundu bypass under construction is poised to be a game changer it will not only connect three main transport corridors: the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, Mombasa-Malindi highway, and the Mombasa- Lunga Lunga highway but also reduce congestion at Likoni ferry.
Despite the indefinite closure of the Liwatoni Floating Bridge for routine service and the halt of service at Mtongwe ferry, the Likoni channel has recorded an unprecedented surge in passengers during peak hours however passengers have been crossing seamlessly.
Since KPA took over it has put in place a raft of measures to reduce congestion and seal revenue loopholes. An automated payment system, automatic barrier gates, and well-marked roads are some of the noticeable changes introduced.
During peak hours, five ferries are in operation. The management has moved routine maintenance procedures to off-peak and even overnight to minimize the inconvenience it might cause to ferry users.
“Monthly income collection has increased dramatically, from Ksh.30 million to Ksh.56 million, after the cashless system was put into place. Every day, about 7000 fleets of cars cross. Less than 3.5 tonnes weight cars, vans, and buses pay between Ksh 120 and Ksh 600 per way to cross the Waterway,” divulged KPA MD CPT William Ruto.
“We are grateful to the management of KPA; it has brought tremendous improvement. For two years the ferry precincts were synonymous with long lines of traffic stretching to the CBD. Some motorists used to cross late in the night,” said Evans Momanyi, a Mombasa resident.
“Since KPA took over the operations at the Likoni crossing channel by incorporating Kenya Ferry Service staff to KPA there is a lot of changes, ostensibly the personnel feels motivated, there is professionalism, congestion has decreased, and hawkers have disciplined and no longer sell their products along the roads to avert accidents,” he added.
The residents hailed the multi-agency cooperation for a reduction in cases of pickpockets which were rampant at the channel.