Taxi operators plying
different routes within Kampala city are living in uncertainty about the future
of their business, due to the gradual decline in the number of people using
The taxi operators say the number of people using taxis dropped
since the government lifted the ban on public transport that was imposed as one
of the COVID-19 containment measures.
According to the
operators, this explains their failure to increase transport fares despite the
hiked fuel prices. About a month ago, public transporters announced new
transport fares to help them cope with the high fuel costs.
Baston Kiyagga, a taxi
guide at Makerere Stage, says that they hardly make more than 2 trips, which
has affected their earnings. Previously, they would record at least 10 trips
from this stage.
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Kiyagga says that they
decided to merge three stages just to mobilize the numbers because filling one
vehicle was taking longer than usual.
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tugatte stage ……
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Hamis Luyimbazi, a driver
at Buziga stage, says that they would have wished to increase the fares because
of the escalating fuel prices but they have held back because of the low
passenger of passengers. He explains that the competition for the few passengers
has complicated the situation making the transport industry hectic.
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On average, a 14-seater
taxi now takes over 1 hour to fill up at most of the stages visited by URN in
the city center. Most of the operators spend their time sleeping or chatting
away due to the limited number of travelers.
Badru Lubega, the
chairperson Mukono stage, says that due to the increase in fuel prices, they
were forced to increase the fares by Shillings 500, which he believes has kept
According to Lubega, travelers now opt for vehicles loading on
the streets, which charge less. He says, as a result, the vehicles on the stage
have reduced from 70 to 40 vehicles due to the low number of travelers.
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enkyuka kuyuka ………
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Saad Ssali has been
working at Mpererwe stage since 1990. He says that he has never experienced
such passenger numbers, adding that their trips have reduced by half.
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Some of the passengers
interviewed by URN revealed that they resorted to alternative means of
transport since the COVID-19 pandemic affected their incomes.
Tasha Nalule told URN
that these are tough times that require stringent financial discipline to survive,
adding that she looks for every possible way to save especially on transport.
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Hussein Ndibubi, says
that although the fuel prices are very high, taxi operators should have mercy
on them because they are equally affected by the high inflation in the country
yet money doesn’t easily come by nowadays.