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KCCA drafts bill to streamline public transport in Kampala

Taxis in the Old park. KCCA seeks to streamline public transport in Kampala. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has drafted a bill to streamline operations of public transport in Kampala.

The bill, the Kampala Capital City (Public Transport Management) Ordinance 2022 provides for the regulation of public transport, infrastructure, management, and supervision of the public transport sector.

The bill also provides for the establishment of a Transport Management Committee, establishment and management of public and private taxi parks, and the organization and management of taxis, boda bodas including tricycles commonly known as Tuk-tuk, Special hires, and coasters in Kampala.

Others include the establishment of a taxi park management committee, election of members of the taxi park management committee from among taxi operators, gazetting of taxi stages and allocation of routes for taxis to use, and regulation of taxi fares to ensure that operators do not exploit passengers.

Also according to the ordinance, a person operating a motorcycle, motorized tricycle, or boda boda for hire or reward is required to acquire a license given by a competent authority (in this case KCCA) as stipulated in the Traffic and Road Safety Regulations number 30 of 2016.

The operator is also required to register with KCCA by applying in writing to the Authority, get a gazetted stage to operate from and also pay registration fees as determined by KCCA.

Eng Joel Wasswa, the manager of roads and traffic at KCCA hopes that this bill shall go a long way in helping to streamline public transport in Kampala. He says that in 2020, KCCA registered some success with the registration of taxis and helping operators form a unifying body but very minimal progress has been achieved with boda bodas.

Eng. Wasswa says the ordinance when concluded and implemented shall offer a clear direction on how taxis and boda bodas will operate.

Recently, the political leaders led by the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago opposed the ongoing training of boda boda cyclists and the proposal to reduce cyclists in the city, saying that it is not guided by the law.

Last year, the State Minister for Kampala, Kabuye Kyofatogabye announced a program to register, conduct health examinations, and train boda boda riders in safe road use to ensure that riders are more organized and professional at their job. He has since indicated that Kampala should have only a maximum of 7,000 boda bodas, out of the estimated 400,000 in Kampala.

The ordinance is silent on bus and railway transport which are also used in Kampala. Engineer Wasswa says that the train is regulated under the Uganda Railway Cooperation and it’s that government agency that shall offer guidance on operations of the train in Kampala.

He adds that the majority of the buses in Kampala ply long routes and are regulated by the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Transport Licensing Board. He however says that this is just a draft and as consultations continue, new ideas could be incorporated.

Deputy Lord Mayor Doreen Nyanjura says that the biggest challenge in the transport sector is evident with boda bodas and taxis in Kampala compared to trains and buses. She says that when discussions about the ordinance started, boda bodas and taxis were and still are the most prevalent means of transport within Kampala hence requiring urgent attention.

She hopes that the office of the Attorney General shall guide appropriately so that the people of Kampala have a law to regulate their public transport system.

The bill was presented for the first reading and sent to the committee on works which is conducting further consultations on the provisions. It shall then be presented for second reading and if passed, be sent back to the Lord Mayor’s office, then to the Minister for Kampala, and then to the Attorney General’s office for ratification.



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