Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is importing 400 buses from Tata Motors, an Indian firm, and are expected to arrive by June this year.
By Brian Mayanja
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is importing 400 buses from Tata Motors, an Indian firm. The authority’s team of experts left the country last week to inspect and negotiate the price.
A new policy document released by the city authority last week indicates that KCCA is moving into bus transport, in partnership with the private sector.
Sources at KCCA said officials from the Government, KCCA and Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA) have been engaged in a series of meetings, discussing the matter.
John Ndyomugeyi, UTODA’s chairman confirmed that they were importing buses, though he declined to mention whether they are in partnership with KCCA.
“We contacted Tata Motors and signed a memorandum of understanding with them. Very soon, buses will be on the road,” Ndyomugenyi said.
The buses, expected to start operating in June, will be managed through a firm on behalf of KCCA.
They are expected to operate in the city’s five divisions in order to avoid problems Pioneer Easy Bus ran into with the districts of Wasiko, Mpigi and Mukono.
Firms will provide valid working contracts to their employees. They will earn a remuneration that is not below a stipulated salary range.
This shall be done in order to protect the employee rights of all the personnel and make them eligible for other benefits like accessibility to mortgages and micro-finance.
“All payments to the bus operators will be managed by KCCA, from KCCA. KCCA will hire a firm to operate the buses for them,” a KCCA senior official explained.
Operators will be paid according to the routes they ply and the number of trips they make.
This week, the authority secured $200m (about sh500b) loan from the World Bank, to construct special lanes for the buses and also construct new roads.
“We have already hired contract firms which will do the work,” a senior official at the authority said.
KCCA has drafted three formats through which bus users will pay their fares. They include buying tickets/cards from KCCA for a period of one day, a week or a month. For example, if someone purchases a ticket for a day at sh3,000, that person will travel on any number of buses for the whole day.
Those who will opt to pay cash on boarding the bus, will part with sh2,000 every time he or she boards a bus.
KCCA and UTODA expect to earn sh800m daily on assumption that Kampala has a population of four million people.
Sh1.5b is expected to be the daily turnover from transport operations.
Saturday Vision has also learnt that KCCA will phase out taxi business, before the end of this year, to create a conducive environment for the buses.
A new policy document, Bus Transport Management System, drafted last month highlights that operations of commuter taxis and bodaboda motorcycles should be limited in the central business district, in order to decongest the city.
The policy indicates that after phasing out taxi business, buses will have a bigger opportunity to operate in these areas.
The same arguments of new lanes were fronted by Pioneer Easy Bus, whose opearations in the city were terminated in February. KCCA said it was not easy to create lanes because the city was already congested.
The city authority’s new policy aims at enforcing the Government’s legislations regarding bus transport. The authority is charged with setting up bus stops, lanes and determining ticket fares.
Efforts to get a comment from the authority’s director for works, Andrew Kitaaka or their spokesperson Peter Kaujju were futile as they did not pick their phones.
KCCA to bring in 400 buses from India