14 January 2013

Uganda: Utoda Now Goes for Buses

The Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) have announced a plan to replace the 14-seater taxis with larger carriers like buses and minibuses in a bid to curb traffic jam in the city.

The move, which has been viewed as a strategy to avoid losing the lucrative public transport business to Pioneer Easy Buses (PEB), will be implemented in a phased approach covering 24 months.

UTODA solely dominated the public transport business in Kampala for 25 years since 1986, only to lose a substantial share to PEB in 2011 as the city authority (KCCA) embarked on a strategy to decongest the city.

However, UTODA bosses said they were ready to move with the changes and compete with Pioneer.

"We have set out our initial five-year development plan and want to reach out to all stakeholders that have continued to support us over the long period of our service to the community," UTODA national chairman John Ndyomugyenyi and chairman for Kampala William Katumba said in a press release.

"Under this new scheme, our members who are local investors will acquire larger carriers to gradually replace the existing 14-seater taxis."

To achieve the goal to set up an efficient bus system, UTODA said they are to recruit personnel with experience in city bus operations.

The association kicked off the campaign with appointing Fred Senoga, formerly the chief executive of PEB, as the head of UTODA business development committee.

The committee is responsible for expediting assistance to the over 3,000 UTODA members to acquire buses through their co-operative agency.

"The business development committee also has to improve the value for our stakeholders and creating a greater efficiency in our transport system through bulk sourcing of consumables and better utilisation of the economies of scale," Ndyomugyenyi said.

He pledged mutual cooperation with KCCA in their campaign to decongest the city.

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