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Thursday,September 24,2020 15:36 PM

Kampala TO GET 200 Buses

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th June 2003 03:00 AM

KAMPALA City public transport system is to undergo major transformation when an intra-city bus service starts in December.

KAMPALA City public transport system is to undergo major transformation when an intra-city bus service starts in December.

By Geoffrey Kamali
KAMPALA City public transport system is to undergo major transformation when an intra-city bus service starts in December.

A local firm, Kampala Modern Bus Service Investments Ltd. (KAMOBUSE), has ordered for 200 specially designed buses to run a scheduled town service, named Easy Bus Service (EBS).

EBS is a joint venture by local and foreign investors led by businessmen Fred Ssenoga and Charles Ssendikadiwa, documents at the company registrar’s office show.

The project, the first of its kind in East and Central Africa, is similar to the one in most European cities. South Africa also runs a similar bus service.

The US$27m (sh48.3b) project, now in advanced stages, is funded by the East African Development Bank while a German firm, OPM Consulting, and the Urban Transport Systems, a UK-based firm, will provide technical back-up for the project.

Kampala City Council (KCC) has welcomed the project. The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and Wakiso district approved it and signed contracts with the company last year.

“I think it is going to be a very good project. We’ve been wasting a lot of time in traffic jams where we would have been productive,” Dr. Maggie Kigozi, the UIA executive director, remarked.

The service, established as a pilot project, is expected to facilitate direct businesses as well as support modern urbanisation process in the city.

It is also expected to improve transport facilities by offering low fares, reduce the choking traffic jams as well as pollution through gaseous emissions in the city.

“We are counting on our low prices, quality of service and speed. The system is based on drop-and-pick from authorised bus stages, rather than stop and fill,” Ssenoga said in an interview recently.

The Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association (UTODA), the main transport agency in the country and the Police, recently asked Parliament to enact a law to ban taxis from entering the city.

Officials told The New Vision that EBS buses will be numbered according to routes, operating from seven bus terminals established in a radius of at least 12kms from Kampala city centre.

“The buses will be routing from one terminal to another. KAMOBUSE won’t need any bus park or terminals in Kampala,” said Ssenoga, the project coordinator and chief executive, in a letter to KCC.

The stages were formerly used by the defunct Uganda Transport Company (UTC),
while more are expected to be set up by KCC. Ssenoga said the project will employ at least 1,475 workers within the initial weeks of its operation, with an annual employment growth rate of 5%.

The workers include two drivers for each of the 200 buses, working in two shifts a day, managers, conductors, inspectors, time-keepers and a network of vendors to sell top-up units for the bus-time cards.

Under the new scheme, passengers will use a smart-card ticketing system, paying sh1,000 a day or sh5,000 a week in bus-time to travel to any destination in the city.

Ssenoga said users will be able to top up their ‘bus-time’ cards on expiry of travel days from the network of dealers around the city.

“Basically, there are a number of options than to pay on a daily or weekly basis. You could choose to pay for a month or more,” he explained.

The buses, to be fitted with radio communication equipment, will be managed by a vehicle tracking agency, based at the terminals, each able to accommodate between 30 or 40 buses.

EBS buses have a capacity to transport between 250,000 and 300,000 passengers a day in Kampala and the neighbouring Wakiso district.

The sites measure between six and seven acres of land. Each terminal will also hold passenger shades, shops, a restaurant, petrol stations and a police post.

The buses have a capacity of 75 passengers each, with two doors, one at the front for entry and another in the middle, for easy exit.

They also have an entry provision for the disabled and children. Under the deal, KCC is to earn sh300m in monthly revenue for using its gazetted bus stops. Each of the five divisions is to earn sh30m per month while Wakiso district will get sh70m each month.
Wakiso, in which most of the bus terminals are located, stands to gain from other revenues generated from the terminals.

The sites are due for construction soon. They include Namanve on the Kampala-Jinja highway, Kyengera on the Kampala-Masaka highway, Buloba on Mityana Road and Gayaza on Gayaza Road.

Other sites are Wakiso on Hoima Road, Kajansi on Kampala-Entebbe highway and Watuba on the Kampala-Gulu highway.
Ends

Kampala TO GET 200 Buses

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