Murimi Mutiga @murimimutiga
The Sh5.8 billion Likoni Cable Cars project, which has been approved, will take at least 18 months to complete and will be unveiled in June 2020.
According to the Project Development Sponsor, Trapos Limited, the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) initiative will be commissioned early next year.
The cable cars will be a huge relief for ferry users, who have often suffered delays at the Likoni crossing channel caused by stalling of ferries midstream.
The delays have been blamed for the huge traffic snarl-ups that have seen the South Coast being shunned by tourists, who sometimes miss their flights at Moi International Airport.
Trapos chairman Eustace Mwarania said an environmental assessment and sub-ground tests must be undertaken first before the project kicks off.
The cable cars will transport up to 5,500 passengers in one direction or double that number in both directions in one hour.
Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) has already signed a 25-year concession agreement for the project connecting Likoni mainland with the Island.
The project will grant exclusivity to a consortium, Likoni Cable Express Ltd, under the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer model.
KFS managing director Bakari Gowa said the cable cars will charge between Sh20 and Sh30 during off-peak hours and between Sh50 and Sh100 during peak hours to cross to Mombasa island or Likoni mainland.
“The rates to be charged will be determined by the time the cable car users will be crossing over from either side of the channel,” he said.
It will be the first aerial cable mass transit infrastructure project in the country. In addition, the project will be the first Privately Initiated Investment Proposal (PIIP) to achieve approval since the inception of the PPP Act of 2013.
Private investors will provide necessary finance to make the project possible and the asset will revert to KFS after the concession period expires.