The Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Betty Amongi says that the government has observed the large numbers of passengers stranded in parks and decided that public transporters plying upcountry routes who have not yet finalised registration can carry passengers for a period of three days up to Monday June 8, 2020.
The government has issued a temporary waiver to taxis plying upcountry routes to Operate even before completing the registration process by Kampala Capital City Authority.
This week Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA started registering taxis and assigning them route numbers as a condition to get back to the road, after more than two months of inactivity.
So far, according to KCCA, only 2,000 taxis and 500 buses have been registered, creating a shortage in transport means as more vehicles remained unregistered at the resumption of operations on June 4.
Now the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Betty Amongi says that the government has observed the large numbers of passengers stranded in parks and decided that public transporters plying upcountry routes who have not yet finalised registration can carry passengers for a period of three days up to Monday, June 8, 2020.
She says the waiver permits shall be authorised by the Resident City Commissioner and that KCCA teams shall issue the permit from the parks to any passenger Service Van ready to transport passengers.
Amongi says that they underestimated the fact that the COVID-19 abrupt lockdown had resulted in many people staying in Kampala yet they had wanted to travel upcountry. Such people rushed to the parks to travel home as soon as the suspension of public transport was relaxed. However, many of them have been stranded in the parks for the last two days.
The failure by a number of taxis to register has also contributed to the fewer number of Public Service Vans. A number of operators have failed to register their vehicles because their permits and taxi PSV licences expired during the lockdown, yet these are some of the conditions for the registration.
Meanwhile, the government directed public transport operators to respect the 6 am to 7 pm curfew regulations as they resume operations. This again has reduced the number of taxis operating as only a few transporters can leave and reach their upcountry destinations without defying the curfew.
The government also required the transporters to carry only half of their capacity so that they can observe social distancing. This and the forces of demand led to a surge in fares.
Amongi says cabinet will discuss the issues of fare in Cabinet on Monday.