Govt guidelines on city transport yet to take off

A taxi operator loads goods atop a taxi in the New Taxi Park in Kampala on December 5, 2022. Many taxis prefer to operate on streets instead of gazetted parks, creating congestion in the city. PHOTO/FRANK BAGUMA

What you need to know:

  • The minister’s directives, which he made on Tuesday, were supposed to be take immediate effect.

The enforcement of new guidelines to streamline public transport in Kampala city did not start yesterday as anticipated despite the minister’s directive.

A spot check by Monitorin many parts of the city found that taxis and buses were still loading and offloading passengers on streets and roads despite State minister for Kampala Kabuye Kyofatogabye directing that this only be done within gazetted bus terminals and taxi parks.

The minister’s directives, which he made on Tuesday, were supposed to be implemented by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and police with immediate effect.

But yesterday, many taxis continued to operate on streets and roads such as Kafumbe Mukasa, Namirembe and Allen, with touts seen calling passengers.

Others were also loading passengers on Burton Street, near Mega Standard Supermarket and Conrad Plaza.

When contacted, KCCA spokesperson Simon Kasyate said the authority has to mobilise resources as well as generate a strategy before implementing the minister’s directives.

“Enforcement of directives is not like waving a magic wand and boom, a cat turns into a horse. Government generally and KCCA in particular work systematically; when a directive is received, the internal organisation has to develop a plan of execution,” Mr Kasyate said.

“Absence of overt operations doesn’t mean that the directive is not being implemented with immediate effect; rather the implementation is currently at a stage of covert execution,” he added.

Nevertheless, some taxi drivers and bus operators welcomed the minister’s directives.

A member of the Federation of Uganda Taxi Operators, Mr Ahmed Nsubuga, said the guidelines will streamline transport in the city.

“When the minister [Minister for Kampala Minsa Kabanda] visited parks last month, we explained to her all our challenges, including the issue of brokers outside the parks who extort money from passengers. My prayers to the minister is to follow up on the implementation because we have had several directives before, which never lasted more than a month,” Mr Nsubuga said.

“However, returning all taxis operating from streets and other ungazetted places into parks may not be viable because some places such as New Taxi Park are already fully occupied. Let the minister look into the issue of congestion in the parks before enforcing the directive,” he added.

In September, the minister also ordered all illegal Entebbe stages to relocate to the Usafi and Kisenyi taxi parks. However, this directive has never been fully implemented.

The public relations officer for Link buses, Mr Tombest Aliinde, urged government to follow up on the guidelines it issues.

“We received a copy of the guidelines passed by the minister yesterday (Tuesday), they are really good but we are seeing nothing like enforcement yet the directive was to enforce them with immediate effect,” Mr Aliinde said.

some of the directives

a. All public transport brokers are banned from operating within bus terminals, taxi parks and on the streets

b. Buses and taxis are strictly required to load and off-load passengers from designated terminals and parks.

c. All public transport booking offices, kiosks and desks operating outside the gazetted parks and bus terminals are banned.

d. Bus and taxi park owners are required to have guides to direct passengers around the parks,

e. Owners of vehicles must have requirements such as PSV licence, route chart and Third Party insurance.

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