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Transport Costs Jump by 47% in July – UBOS

The resumption of transport came with restrictions – the 14-seater taxis are only allowed to carry seven people while 65-seater buses can only carry 30 passengers. As a result, transporters more than doubled fares.
Bus operators have more than doubled transport fares to villages. Courtesy photo.
Ugandans paid the highest to move in July compared to the same month last year, thanks to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions on passenger numbers in cars, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) reports.

In the consumer price index for July, a measure of what Ugandans pay for different goods and services, UBOS says transport costs increased by 47.3 per cent in July compared to an increment of 34.2 per cent in June. This is the time that the government allowed public transport to start working after two months of suspension aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.

However, the resumption of transport came with restrictions – the 14-seater taxis are only allowed to carry seven people while 65-seater buses can only carry 30 passengers. As a result, transporters more than doubled fares. A simple trip where one just spent 1,000 Shillings in Kampala, now goes for between 2,000 and 3,000 Shillings, while an upcountry bus journey which cost one 20,000 now costs in the north of 50,000 Shillings.

According to the statistics agency, this is despite the fact that fuel prices fell in July. The CPI indicates that liquid energy fuels, including petrol and diesel, fell by 4.4 per cent in July, continuing a falling streak. In June, prices of fuel fell by 5.1 per cent, UBOS says.  Petrol prices, in particular, fell by 6.4 per cent. 

The fuel prices drop is directly related to international prices of oil which have dropped to just over USD 30 a barrel. 

Charcoal and firewood continued to be up although their prices increment were not as high as in previous months, UBOS shows.

In the regional centres, UBOS shows that people in Jinja paid higher prices than other places. The prices were driven by transport costs and prices of non-alcoholic drinks like sodas, juices and mineral water.

Kampala and Masaka follow with costs in these towns driven by transport fares, non-alcoholic drinks and food at restaurants. Retailers increased prices to cover lost income during the shutdown.

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