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Travelers outnumber buses as Christmas nears

By Samuel Balagadde

Added 21st December 2019 01:57 PM

The shortage of buses has hit travelers heading upcountry for Christmas with a hard blow.

Travelers outnumber buses as Christmas nears

Passengers traveling to the Eastern region lining up for booking tickets at Namayiba bus terminal. There was only one bus in the entire parking yard. Photo by Samuel Balagadde.

The shortage of buses has hit travelers heading upcountry for Christmas with a hard blow.

Christmas is knocking at the door, yes it is evident with the current situation here in Kampala City. Bongole Lutaaya's famous Christmas songs are playing in every corner of the city while some people are doing the last minute shopping for Christmas.

The bus parks tell the real Christmas drama. It is survival for the fittest to get onto a bus to your final destination. Queues of people in the parks waiting patiently for their turn to access the services of the next bus.

 n some city  bus terminals  it  takes  a traveler  between  two to  three  hours or more  to get a  loading bus  while some passengers are  forced  to sleep  in the bus  terminal hoto by am alagadde In some city bus terminals, it takes a traveler between two to three hours or more to get a loading bus while some passengers are forced to sleep in the bus terminal. Photo by Samuel Balagadde.

 
The shortage of buses has hit travelers heading upcountry for Christmas with a hard blow. 

According to transport operators, the stringent conditions that the traffic police and the Transport Licensing Board (TLB) against bus operators who make unauthorized return journeys and unlicensed buses have caused the mess in the parks.

The stringent conditions are geared towards monitoring the movement of public passengers' buses through ensuring that they operate and move within the time schedules reflected on their respective route charts to save passengers and other road users from over speeding buses.

In some city bus terminals, it takes a traveler between two to three hours or more to get a  loading bus while some passengers are forced to sleep in the bus terminal to catch up with the early morning buses.

Charles  Ssebambulidde the traffic police spokesperson said during such seasons when passengers are traveling in big numbers bus operators have a tendency of violating the existing regulations that include among others, unauthorized return journeys, going through the gazetted traffic police checkpoints on different routes.

 assengers to the astern region lining up to book tickets at amayiba bus terminal hoto amuel alagadde Passengers to the Eastern region lining up to book tickets at the Namayiba bus terminal. Photo Samuel Balagadde

 
"We have beefed up our checkpoints and deployed foot patrols to monitor buses that bypass the gazetted routes mainly those that are not licensed or those in dangerous mechanical conditions and those driven by drivers without driver badges," said  Ssebambulidde.

Nelson Ssekandi the operations manager Namayiba bus terminal in Kampala said many passengers have embraced night traveling from 11:00 pm to1:00am.

"Night traveling is playing a wonderful role in controlling the influx of travelers in the parks," Ssekandi said

Although some routes like Kampala- Mbarara-Kable have had fares hiked up to sh50,000, other routes mainly the Eastern and the Northern route have not registered substantial increments.  YY Bus Company the giant on the Eastern route refused to increase its fares.

Haji Yusuf Yunus the director for  YY  bus company said hiking fares because the stranded passenger numbers is exploitive and cannot solve the problem.

" I have added more buses to the fleet during this festive season to address the challenges passengers go through during such demanding seasons," said  Yunus. 

 

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