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Upcountry Taxis, Buses Given 3 Days to Operate Unregistered

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has given a temporary waiver of 3 days till Monday for public transporters plying upcountry routes who have not yet finalized the registration process to carry passengers.

Following the opening of public transport on Thursday, June 4, 2020, KCCA and Ministry of Works and Transport started the process of registering all commuter public transport operators to regulate operations of the industry.

The exercise is being conducted at Old Kampala SS and Kitante Primary School.

A surge in the number of passengers who would like to travel upcountry has been experienced. This is because they are unable to continue living in the city due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and the high cost of living.

Considering that curfew has already interrupted the movement of buses that had been traveling at night, passengers have begun sleeping in the parks and public transporters failing to meet the demands of the passengers.

Considering all the above reasons, the Minister for Kampala Betty Amongi has said that public transporters heading upcountry have been given a waiver of 3 days to carry passengers even when they are not registered.

“Following the above reasons, we have made a temporary waiver to public transporters plying upcountry routes who have not yet finalized registration to carry passengers for a period of three (3) days up to Monday 8th June 2020,” Amongi told reporters at Uganda Media Center today Friday afternoon.

She added, “the waiver permit shall be authorized by the Resident City Commissioner (RCC) and KCCA team shall issue the permit from parks to any PSV vehicle to transport passengers.”

Amongi admitted that government “underestimated the fact that the impact of COVID 19 abrupt lock down had resulted to many people staying in Kampala yet they had wanted to travel upcountry. When public transport opened, majority of those who have no proper employments, or had been caught here wanted to travel upcountry. So a huge number suddenly came to the park and overwhelmed the few upcountry PSV.”

She said the reduction in the capacity to be carried by Buses and Taxis limited the numbers of passengers the PSV can carry leading to many passengers being left stranded.

The situation was further aggravated by the curfew time limited movements of Buses which had been travelling 24hrs with over 10 buses travelling to popular destinations; due to curfew, they are now less than 5 Buses making only one route a day instead of two or three with full capacity

She also observed that the price being charged by taxis was unaffordable for passengers who wished to travel due to high costs being charged by the PSV.

“Most are appealing to government to regulate the price. This matter will be presented to cabinet on Monday,” said Amongi.

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Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, June 3, 2020, Amongi said that over 3000 taxis and 500 buses and their drivers/ owners plying various routes in the country have been registered including those operating in upcountry destinations across the country.

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