As Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) works to revamp the city’s road network, residents may yet experience even greater change with the launch of Tondeka Metro buses.
The 980 Tondeka Metro buses will operate the main routes at a standard fare at a specific time and frequency using cashless transactions with taxis left with only catering to the feeder and pick up routes.
The introduction of the Tondeka buses will relieve Kampala residents who reportedly live in a capital with the second-worst air quality in the world, according to recent studies.
The poor air quality in Kampala and its environs has been blamed on congestion and heavy traffic flow.
During the launch, newly appointed minister for Kampala and metropolitan affairs Betty Amongi revealed that the 980 buses will initially be supplied from India by Ashok Leyland and the rest produced in Uganda.
Amongi said she is under strict a directive from President Museveni to ensure that the local community that has been operating public transport is considered first in job opportunities and buying of shares.
She said the taxis that have been operating public transport will, however, not be run out of business.
The mass transit bus system comes days after parliament passed the new traffic and road safety amendment bill 2019 in a move to strengthen transport regulation and road safety management in the country.
The Minister for Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala said he is confident this will help bring sanity in greater Kampala.
Todenka buses will operate in central business on specific routes using intelligent transport system providing cashless ticketing, GPS tracking and reporting system.
They are slated to begin operations in September 2020.
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.
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 see 980 buses roll out on the road.
The buses will avail services in a radius of 25KM in and around Kampala on specified routes of Kampala-Mukono on Jinja Road, Kampala- Nsangi on Masaka Road, Kampala- Buloba on Mityana Road, Kampala- Wakiso on Hoima Road, Kampala-Matugga on Bombo Road; Kampala – Entebbe and Kampala- Ggaba.