Increased traffic blamed on poor services at the Likoni crossing channel
12 May 2015, 15:23
Mombasa - Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) have blamed the increased jam at the Likoni ferry crossing on poor services.
KFS Managing Director, Eng. Musa Hassan Musa in an exclusive interview said heavy traffic experienced at the ferry crossing is to blame for the problems suffered by passengers and motorists.
“The heavy traffic situation in Nyali and Kibarani bridges in the morning and evenings is driving thousands of casual laborers to reside in the sprawling Likoni estate,” said Musa.
He revealed that KFS presently has five ferries in its fleet and a breakdown of one vessel would interfere with the smooth running of the channel operations.
He said the last year's decommissioning of MV Mvita and MV Pwani, which were bought in 1969 and 1974 respectively, has worsened the situation at the busy crossing channel.
The five vessels that currently operate across the 500 meters wide channel are MV Harambee, MV Kilindini, MV Likoni, MV Kwale and MV Nyayo.
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Eng. Musa said KFS is in the process of procuring two new vessels by mid 2016 to help mitigate the crisis at the channel that he said currently handles approximately 7 000 vehicles and 300 000 passengers daily.
KFS provides free ride to passengers while vehicles, motorcycles, Tuktuks and handcarts have to pay a ferry toll.
“When one ship is passing through the Kilindini harbor to dock at the Mombasa port. It results in at least 10 minutes delay for the ferries and motorists and commuters see this as inefficiency on our part,” said Musa.
KFS was established in 1989 by the government and plays a pivotal role in linking the island to the mainland south of Mombasa and unlike the northern side of Mombasa that is linked by bridges at Mtwapa, Nyali and Kibarani, the south coast depends solely on the ferries.
The ferry MD also revealed that the KFS has plans to set up a cable carrier at the channel at the private public partnership project at a cost of USD 41 million and it will cost KES 20 to ferry an individual across the 500 meters stretch for 2 minutes.
He said the cable will be able to cross around 11 000 people per hour.
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