The Northern Corridor Transit Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) officially launched the Roadside Stations (RSS) concept along the Northern Corridor during the Investors’ Conference held on April 2015 in Nairobi, Republic of Kenya. Commitments were then made by Member States of the Northern Corridor to incorporate the RSS initiative/projects to their plans of road constructions and upgrading along the Northern Corridor.
The three RSS models designed in the NCTTCA’s concept include: the private sector model, the hybrid model (PPP model) and the public sector model of RSS. The private sector model is intended for the locations where the facility will bring enough return on investment to attract private investors. The model is meant to provide a wide range of services to road users and local communities and to constitute an icon of development and economic growth in its areas of location. On the other hand, the main focus for the public sector model of RSS is the provision of public and social services such as rest stops, health checkups and secure parking with a view to promote road safety and security regardless the return on investment.
The Maungu Lorry Park RSS has been inspired by the public sector model of RSS with its own specificities from the local Government of Taita Taveta, in Kenya; which is along the Northern Corridor.
The Maungu Lorry Park although independently conceived, conforms to the Roadside Station concept being championed by the NCTTCA Secretariat. The station is set on a surface of an estimated 6 hectares well located off the road. In addition to its parking capacity of 200 trucks, the following facilities are available:
- Lodges: 6 blocks of 10 rooms each for accommodation (including independent toilets and washrooms at each block)
- 10 offices
- 20 shops
- 4 Restaurant (currently only 2 are operating)
- One Health check with 2 offices
Parking’s surface of the MLP
Investment, Management and Operation
The Station is owned by the County Government of Taita Taveta. The public sector initiated the idea, mobilized funds, made the designs and constructed the Station.
The public sector (County Government) collects parking fees and rents buildings to private sector which operates the various services mentioned above.
The station is supervised by a staff appointed by the County Government. The supervisor manages the parking and ensures that proper maintenance is adhered to. The supervisor also manages a team of 4 revenue collectors and 5 armed police officers.
Lodge blocks at MLP
The rent rates applied to private operators are set by the County Assembly through a legal budget process.
The following monthly rates are currently applied on rents: Lodges: 40,000 KSH; Offices: 5,000; KSH; Restaurants: 5,000 KSH; Shops: 3,000 KSH.
The parking fee is paid only when a truck spends a night at the Station. Those who park during the day to access the station services do not pay for parking. The parking fee per night is set at 100 KSH. The access to the independent washrooms is charged 30 KSH. The costs of other services such as accommodation and restaurant are freely set by the private individuals that operate those services within the station.
For reference, the accommodation rate per night is currently set at 300 KSH. Drivers are free to sleep in a room or to stay in their trucks as long as they pay for the parking. However, drivers more often choose to sleep in the rooms for their comfort. In most cases the rooms for lodging are fully occupied. The Parking occupancy is usually around 150 trucks out of a capacity of 200 trucks. Sometimes the parking is totally occupied.
Single women (sex workers) are not allowed to access the station for affairs with drivers. But drivers are allowed to come in accompanied with their own women.
The health check facility within the station is a private service set by a group of transport companies to ensure good health and monitoring of the conditions of their drivers along the road. The facility checks the level of alcohol, blood pressure, HIV and so on and prescribes some intermediary solutions, where relevant to allow drivers get back to the road in a good state. The checkup is made mandatory to drivers of those companies. No driver can skip the checkup, and a report is shared with other check points and their central office to follow up drivers who misbehave along the road.
The SANGANI transport company is another private transporter which has set its own checkpoint office within the station. The County Government is in contact with other operators to set up a well-equipped health clinic within the station.
The Maungu Lorry Park RSS is a great initiative from a local authority along the Northern Corridor. This facility brings to the local Government additional income. Apart from the financial profit it generates, in the meantime it as well gives business opportunities to the local private operators, helps to monitor movement of traffic and mitigates causes of road accidents.
The Maungu Lorry Park RSS is an example of good model of RSS that can be to be emulated by other local authorities along the Northern Corridor as well as private operators who have got the required lands and would wish to set up such a facility provided that they conform to the standards defined by the NCTTCA’s RSS concept.