Kenyans and international visitors are set to enjoy the luxury of crossing the Likoni channel in Mombasa on board cable cars for the first time in 2020.
According to Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) managing director Bakari Gowa, the construction of the first-ever cable car facility in Kenya, is set to begin in May 2018.
In December last year, Trapos Limited signed an agreement with the KFS to undertake the cable car project to the tune of Sh5.8 billion.
An Austrian firm, Doppelmayr Group, has won a tender to build the cable car on the Likoni channel to connect Mombasa Island with the South coast.
The Austrian firm is set to start the construction of the cable car in May, with the facility expected to be ready for use in 2020.
Mr Gowa told the Travel and Tourism Daily in Mombasa that the KFS was finalising a deal to acquire land for the construction of the cable car facility to begin in May.
“When the cable car project is completed in 2020, it will address ferry schallenges on the Likoni channel. Travellers from either Mombasa or Diani in the South Coast will cross the channel in comfort,” he added.
The project will come handy especially to local and international visitors, who for years have been facing ferry delays while crossing the Likoni channel as they head to the South Coast for holiday.
Mr Gowa explained that the KFS was facing a daunting task in providing services to 330,000 people, who cross the channel daily, as well as more than 6,000 vehicles per day.
He noted that the facility will have 22 cable cars that will carry 38 passengers per cabin. The cable cars will carry 11,000 commuters per hour in both directions, a total of 180,000 people per day.
Commuters will cross the 500-metre Likoni channel in about three minutes. They will pay between Sh20 and Sh100.
The Likoni channel is currently the major link to the South Coast by road.
KFS is banking on the cable cars to give travellers using the Likoni channel long term solutions, as well as address the ferry challenges.
Ferries MV Jambo, MV Harambee, MV Nyayo and MV Kilindini operate daily on the Likoni channel.