All city taxis will be assigned specific routes as they resume their operations on June 4, 2020, the Minister for Kampala Metropolitan Affairs, Ms Betty Amongi has said.
The minister told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Thursday that they have designed routes for each taxi operating within the Kampala metropolitan area. This means that before the taxis return to the city, all operators will be expected to report to Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Offices to be assigned parks and stages.
Ms Amongi says that after registration and assignment of routes, the drivers will pick their route charts from the Ministry of Works. The route charts shall last until December 31, 2020, before a permanent chart is issued.
The arrangement is in line with the new guidelines for public transport in Kampala which were jointly drafted by KCCA, the Ministries of Kampala Affairs and Works and Transport Ministry, and approved by the cabinet on Monday.
"Beginning tomorrow May 29, 2020, all taxi operators should report to KCCA where you will be assigned the park, stages and the route where you will be operating. So please, we do not want stampede on June 4, 2020," Ms Amongi said.
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Further, the minister noted that all operators of public transport are expected to have personal protective equipment like a face mask and provide handwashing facilities for passengers to wash their hands and a temperature gun to measure the temperature of passengers before boarding.
"Each passenger service vehicle is expected to have hand washing facilities and all passengers must wear masks. Any vehicle found carrying passengers without mask will loses their license to operate within Kampala Metropolitan area," she added.
She said taxis will park two meters away from each other while in the parks while touting has been banned as part of a presidential directive. The taxis will also be given route colours and numbers. The colours to be used are black, red, yellow and green shall be used. She said this will help in tracking vehicles especially during the COVID-19 period where they might need to trace for contacts.
Ms Amongi also listed other issues that taxis will have to fulfil without fail with effect from January 2021. She says taxis will be subjected to compulsory inspection through SGS and payment of Park User fees to KCCA. Amongi says KCCA will directly enforce all the directives without involving taxi Associations that they say are divided.
The KCCA Acting executive director, Mr Andrew Kitaka says they will start designing the parks soon to create the 2-meter distance between taxis. He says to manage the number of taxis; they are working around the clock to find space where taxis can park as they wait to return to the parks.
"We also don't want to continue with the congestion that has existed around these taxi parks will only be allowed to have vehicles which fit there can at any one time. We don't want roads around the parks to be full of taxis," he said.
Meanwhile, KCCA says Boda-bodas shall continue operating without passengers and respect curfew time as indicated by the President. The Authority is currently working to gazette Boda-boda stages and Boda-boda free zones.
The authority has listed 970 Boda-boda stages across the three divisions of Kampala. So far, they have approved 585 stages.