Uganda: Govt, Operators Agree On Reduced Transport Fares for Buses, Taxis

6 January 2022
Nile Post News (Kampala)

Government and operators have agreed to reduce the fares for passengers using taxis and buses for journeys within the Kampala Metropolitan Area and from the city upcountry.

Following the announcing of the lockdown, government ordered that buses and taxis carry passengers at half capacity and in response to this, transporters doubled the fares.

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However, last week, President Museveni announced the resumption of carrying passengers at full capacity by the buses and taxis.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Works and Transport Minister, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala said government had engaged with the leaders of the bus and taxi operators and agreed to reduce on the fares since they now carry passengers at full capacity.

"We sat down with the transporters to discuss the issue of fares. We agreed that they reduce the fares and I urge all operators to adhere to these fares so that members of the public are not cheated," Gen Katumba said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Solomon Nsimire, the chairperson for United Bus Owners Association (UBOA) said whereas they had doubled the fares on all routes, they have reached a consensus to reduce the fares.

"We decided to review the fares to what we previously charged before the lockdown. We however decided to add a small fee to cater for rising costs like fuel to ensure a win win situation for everyone," Nsimire said.

For example, the route from Kampala to Jinja which was being charged shs10,000 before the lockdown cost sh20,000 after the onset of the lockdown but the fares have now been reduced to shs15000.

It means that shs5000 has been added onto the shs10,000 which was initially being charged.

"We have added between shs5000 and shs10000 per route depending on the journey on top of what we were charging," Nsimire said.

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Taxi operators also agreed with the decision of saying that they too had decided to reduce the fares after negotiations with government.

"We have agreed to reduce fares after resumption of transportation at full capacity. Whereas we didn't go back to the original fares, we have included a small fee of between shs500 and shs5000 depending on the journey," said Rashid Ssekindi, the chairman of the Federation of Uganda Taxi Operators.

He however warned drivers against overcharging passengers while ignoring the set fares.

"We shall crackdown on drivers who don't adhere to the new fares because they have ben agreed to by everyone."

The development comes on the backdrop of the announcement of reopening of schools for learners for the first time in two years after the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, drivers of both buses and taxis more than doubled the transport fares and learners returned to school , leaving many stranded .

However, this time round, government decided to release a staggered program to be followed by schools especially in Kampala, Mukono, Mpigi and Wakiso districts for learners in a bid to avoid traffic jam and doubling of transport fares by drivers due to the large numbers of passengers.

Many members of the public have welcomed the move they said will not only help to reduce on traffic congestion, deal with the issue of increment of transport fares but also cater for other road users who would initially be affected despite not being involved in anything to do with learners returning to school.

Revised transport fares for buses and taxis

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