Government has for the first time spoken out on the proposed guidelines meant to streamline public transport in the central business district.
In a bid to decongest traffic flow, the Kampala Minister and the Works Ministry in a leaked framework paper proposed to overhaul the operation of taxis and bodabodas in Kampala and introduce scheduled bus services Kampala but the move has attracted mixed reactions from the public especially on the motive of the move.
Addressing a news conference on Tuesday at the Uganda Media Centre, the Minister for Kampala, Betty Amongi said the guidelines are still in a proposal form as consultations from various stakeholders on the same continue.
“Since 2013, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has been undertaking consultations to undertake reforms in streamlining, regulating and creating order in the city. This exercise was rejuvenated in 2016 where several consultations have been undertaken extensively. The technical report has now been produced for consultations at a political level,”Amongi said.
The Kampala Minister said on May 6, 2020, her ministry organised a stakeholders consultative meeting attended by the Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda Police Force, the Lord Mayor, the Resident City Commissioner and the Speakers of the Authority among others to discuss the same, adding nothing has been concluded as of now.
“I therefore, want to inform the general public particularly, taxi drivers, boda boda Riders, owners of taxi and owners of motorcycles that the documents being circulated are just a draft pending further consultations. I want to inform them that taxis and boda bodas are not being chased in city.”
According to Minister Amongi, in the new reforms, taxis and boda bodas operating in Kampala will be registered and a digital data base is created by KCCA for them.
The proposed reforms will also see parks, stages, routes and stops for taxis and boda bodas gazetted and to this, 66 stages including taxi parks and 137 routes have been identified.
For boda bodas, the minister said 970 stages have been mapped out and of these, only 585 in the five divisions of Kampala will be gazetted.
“We shall introduce route numbers and route colours for all the taxis to enhance order in the business,”Amongi said.
The minister explained that vehicles plying a similar route will have the same colour but different numbers as one of the ways for easy identification and tracking in case of any crime committed .
The proposed measures will also see taxi drivers and boda boda riders given new identification attire including uniforms and badges for easy identification and tracking in case of any crime.
The minister added that they will also introduce scheduled bus services within circular routes of boda boda free zones within the central business district.
“We shall support boda boda riders that are not registered with digital companies(using apps like Safe Boda, Uber, Bolt among others) to either join existing ones, form new associations or register on their own as individual riders,” she said.
She added that the implementation of these proposals will be done in close collaboration with the respect e group leaders.