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Sh600b greater Kampala public bus transport project set to start

By Michael Kanaabi

Added 2nd February 2020 10:18 AM

The project dubbed Tondeka metro is seen as one of the ways in which traffic congestion within Kampala city and its suburbs will be solved going forward.

Sh600b greater Kampala public bus transport project set to start

Each bus will also cover an average of 200 kilometers daily (Photos by Michael Kanaabi)

The project dubbed Tondeka metro is seen as one of the ways in which traffic congestion within Kampala city and its suburbs will be solved going forward.

INFRASTRUCTURE

The first phase of a public metro bus service covering the greater Kampala region including Entebbe, Wakiso and Mukono districts will be rolled out later this year.

The project dubbed Tondeka metro is seen as one of the ways in which traffic congestion within Kampala city and its suburbs will be solved going forward.

To get the buses on the road, an investment of sh600b ($165 million) is being undertaken to finance the roll-out of the first phase of the project which will have 980 buses and this will start later this year in September.

A joint evaluation report by Ashok Leyland India under the Hinduja group which will supply the first phase of the buses, the concerned authority which is Kampala Capital City Authority and the Tondeka Metro bus company promoters shows these buses will be able to transport 1.47 million passengers daily.

 eter imbowa the ondeka etro hairman addressing a recent event Peter Kimbowa the Tondeka Metro Chairman addressing a recent event

 

Each bus will also cover an average of 200 kilometers daily and they plan to operate within a 25-kilometer radius for the start for all major roads leading to and from the city and spread out further later.

Keys stakeholders in this project including both local and foreign-held a meeting at the close of this week to deliberate on how best to make the project work. Representatives from KCCA, the Ministry of Kampala, the Ministry of Finance, The Works and transport Ministry from government among others represented the public sector stakeholders.

Also present were the projects lead promoters Tondeka Bus Company, taxi owners and drivers' leaders, civil society and a number of international financiers including the World Bank Group, DFID, GIZ plus EXIM Bank of India who will finance the project's first phase.

"His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni has on many occasions made clear his desire to sort out the public transport mess around Kampala and this is one of the solutions we tabled before him and he gave us a green light to go ahead and explore it" Peter Kimbowa the Chairman of Tondeka Metro Bus company said.

We have also ensured all stakeholders are on board that is why we have been continuously engaging them especially the taxi drivers and owners who we have gone ahead to reserve board sits for at the helm of the project he noted.

"To ensure taxi touts and drivers are not left out in this new project, we are in advanced stages of training many of them to take up jobs as drivers of the buses given they already have the experience and will also train many more as the project reaches maturity."

A number of bus terminals over 7 in various places within and around the city will be set up for the start and these will act as transit and drop off points where both taxis and private cars will be able to drop off passengers that will then be picked up by the buses and ferried into the city centre and back. Parking spaces for private cars, eateries and shopping malls are some of the other amenities that will be created to improve the quality of service at these terminals.

This according to the joint evaluation report for the project will create an additional 10,000 jobs in the medium term, for among other trades technicians and mechanics, service centre agents, shop attendants at the terminals, small business owners to mention but a few. 

Tax revenue estimates the government will earn from the project annually according to the joint evaluation report will average sh100b with the monthly cost of public transport dropping greatly to sh50, 000 for limitless travels a month, sh15, 000 for a week and sh3000 a day.

 This will be done through a cashless system to combat revenue leakages according to the company's Chairman as payments will be done through mobile money and a card system and the buses will operate 24 hours daily.

 EXIM Bank of India will finance the first phase of the project with guarantees from the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development. 

Local Content

"A plan is underway to seal a partnership with Kiira Motors to assemble the buses that will be procured in the second and third phases of the project which will be over 1000 buses to bring the total to 2000" Peter Kimbowa says.

This will also create more jobs and opportunities for the young local vehicle manufacturer Kiira Motors that has already created and successfully tested prototype buses and other vehicles to grow and find its footing.

Going forward Kimbowa notes that there is a plan to take the company (Tondeka Metro Buses) public to ensure local ownership through an Initial Public Offering after the project rollout is complete in about 5 years.    

 
 

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