By Juliet Waiswa
TAXIS which used to commute from the New Taxi Park have started operating from the newly rehabilitated facility, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) public relations officer Peter Kaujju revealed.
The park was on 8 October commissioned by President Yoweri Museveni as part of the infrastructural development in the city.
Kaujju revealed that the Kampala Taxi Stage Committee requested KCCA to hand over the park to the drivers so that they would start operating in November. He said that KCCA had finalizing issues like the stage management and ensuring that all is set for the users.
Kaujju said that KCCA physical planning committee approved 38 stages and also confirmed that the park is expected to accommodate 350 taxis. Last year in September, KCCA evicted taxi drivers and vendors from the park putting down all lock ups to pave way for its redevelopment.
Last month KCCA executive director Jennifer Musisi announced that no hawkers will be allowed to operate in the newly constructed park. The park will however have eating kiosks in designated areas allocated by KCCA.
Yasin Sematimba, the chairperson of the taxi park stage co-coordinating committee, said streamlining the taxi parks will greatly minimize robberies in taxis.
According to Sematimba only taxis which were operating in the park will continue using the New Park except for those which operate along Jinja Road (Ntinda, Bweyogererere, Mukono among others) and Entebbe Road (Namasuba, Kajjansi, Zana). He said that each stage will accommodate four taxis at once to reduce on congestion.
“We shall utilize Kisenyi Bus Terminal and Namayuba parks as taxis wait to load,” Sematimba said.
Taxis in the New Park were allocated to three parks Kisenyi, Namirembe and Namayuba to pave way for rehabilitation.
Sterling was given a period running from October 1, 2012 to July, 2013, but the contractors were delayed due to other factors like resistance from the traders as they wanted KCCA to find them space.
The park has designated stages, strong lighting, waiting bays, a police post, toilet facilities, and three entrance and exits points.
The park also has shelters where passengers will be allowed to wait for taxis unlike before and it will also have gazetted stages to load and offload passengers.