Buses, taxis plying upcountry routes granted 3-day waiver

Saturday June 6 2020

Travellers board a Mbale-bound bus at Namayuba

Travellers board a Mbale-bound bus at Namayuba Bus Terminal on June 5, 2020 after government relaxed restrictions on public transport. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 

By JOB BWIRE

Following a surge in the number of passengers who would like to travel upcountry, government has granted a three-day temporary waiver for taxis and buses plying upcountry routes.
There was confusion on Thursday after many passengers who had hoped to travel following the reopening of public transport were left stranded on many roads in different parts of the country.

Thousands of passengers, especially in urban areas, had walked miles hoping to get buses or taxis but were left helpless because very few public transport vehicles returned to the roads after two month of Covid-19 lockdown.
Early in the morning, the passengers who were moving out of their homes in two months in Kampala Metropolitan area vainly waited for hours on the roadside.
Ms Betty Amongi, the Minister for Kampala capital City and Metropolitan Affairs said Friday that government had noted some passengers sleeping in the parks and the public transporters failing to meet demands of the passengers which resulted into interrupting curfew time.

Travellers board a Mbale-bound bus at Namayuba
Travellers board a Mbale-bound bus at Namayuba Bus Terminal on June 5, 2020 after government relaxed restrictions on public transport. Photo by Ismail Kezaala 

“For the above reasons, we have made a temporary waiver for 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. The waiver permit shall be authorized by the Resident City Commissioner (R.C.C) and KCCA team shall issue the permit from the parks to any PSV vehicle ready to transport the passengers,” she said.

According to the minister, government had underestimated the impact that 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 added.

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A woman and a child wait for a taxi at the old
A woman and a child wait for a taxi at the old taxi park in Kampala, Uganda, on June 04, 2020, the first day of re-opening public transport. The President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni announced to lift the suspension of public transport which has been suspended since March 22, 2020, but all borders still remain closed except for limited goods and authorised emergency flights. AFP PHOTO

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