• More than 31,000 motorists are using the road on a daily basis, which is a 'record'
• Those with Electronic Toll Collection cards have easy access, while cash slows others
Transport CS James Macharia has urged motorists to register for the Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) cards for a smooth use of the Nairobi Expressway.
Motorists have been decrying long payments processes that elongate the time they spend on the expressway.
Macharia on Tuesday said using cash to pay on the expressway is what is causing jams on the road.
“What we have to do now is ensure motorists all motorists register for ETC cards, which are faster. Don’t go there with cash. Cash is what is creating jams on the exits,” he said.
The CS spoke in Murang'a while inspecting the 84km Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway.
The expressway cost the government Sh89 billion and is aimed at enhancing transportation in the capital city.
It is operating on a trial basis after it was opened on May 14, with motorists allowed to use the ETC, the Manual Toll Collection (MTC) card or cash.
ETC users have their cars installed with a communication device that is sensed once they get to the entry point, allowing them easy access.
MTC card users, however, have to receive a voucher at the entry point, which is used to calculate their charges based on the distance covered.
The users have to top up their cards, which work like credit cards.
Macharia said the expressway is gaining popularity among motorists due to its efficiency.
He said last week, his ministry’s officials counted 31,000 vehicles using the road on one day, which he said was a record number.
He expressed confidence that by December, more than 100,000 will have taken the ETC cards and there will be no more traffic jams on the road.
The 27.1km long elevated highway was under construction since mid-2020.
It has 11 interchanges, including Mlolongo, Standard Gauge Railway, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Eastern Bypass, Southern Bypass, Capital Centre, Haile Selassie Avenue, Museum Hill, Westlands and James Gichuru Road.
Macharia said the Kenol-Sagana-Marua dual carriageway is 70 per cent complete.
The CS was accompanied by African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina during the inspection.
He said the road will be completed by December this year.
The road is expected is ease the heavy traffic of motorists from Mt Kenya into Nairobi county and to positively impact the agriculture sector that is the lifeline of the region.
Numerous businesses, including petrol stations, mills and hotels, have been established along the highway, which is employing more than 1,000 youths in its construction.