Government has given a three day waiver to public service vehicles including buses and taxis plying upcountry routes to allow them transport stranded passengers.
Following the opening of public transport, the Ministry for Kampala announced that KCCA would register all public transport vehicles and given route chats before they are allowed to resume business.
However, the move has seen a number of people stranded in various parks because of the limited number of vehicles cleared to carryout transport business.
Addressing a news conference on Friday, Kampala Minister, Betty Amongi admitted that the move has left many passengers stranded prompting them to give a three day waiver.
“We have experienced a surge in the number of passengers who would like to travel upcountry because they are unable to continue living in the city due to economic impact of Coronavirus and the cost of living,”Amongi said.
The Minister also explained that even the 7pm to 6:30am curfew has interrupted movement of vehicles especially buses plying the upcountry routes and this has left many passengers who would have liked to travel to get stranded, with some of them sleeping in parks.
Among noted that in a bid to ease on the number of passengers in both taxi and bus parks, government has decided to give a three day waiver to allow them transport the stranded passengers, many of whom hve been sleeping in parks.
“…….we have made a temporary waiver for public transporters plying upcountry routes who have not yet finalized registration to carry passengers for a period of three days up to Monday June,8 2020,”Amongi said.
The Minister however noted that the waiver permit will be issued by the Resident City Commissioner and the KCCA team to any passenger service vehicle ready to transport the passengers.
Explains stranded passengers
The Kampala Minister also noted that she was sorry over the big number of passengers who had failed to transport to various destinations because there were few public transport vehicles.
“We therefore, regret any inconveniences that the passengers have faced,” she said.
Amongi explained that this had been caused by a combination of factors but she said these had mostly been on the side of vehicle drivers and their owners.
“The reduction in the capacity to be carried by buses and taxis limited the numbers of passengers the PSV can carry leading to many passengers being left stranded but also the curfew time limited movement of buses that had been travelling 24hours a day,” Minister Amongi explained.
She noted that whereas there were over 10 buses travelling to popular destinations, due to curfew, they are now less than five making only one route, instead of two or three with full capacity.
The Kampala Minister said failure to register in time because vehicles didn’t meeting required conditions coupled with high prices charged by the few vehicles which were operational, many passengers were left stranded.
“We underestimated the fact that the impact of Covid-19 abrupt lock down had resulted to many people staying in Kampala yet they had wanted to travel upcountry. When public transport opened, majority of those who have no proper employments, or had been caught here wanted to travel upcountry. So a huge number suddenly came to the park and overwhelmed the few upcountry PSVs,”Amongi said.
She noted that in the three days, these numbers will greatly reduce.