Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has issued a route chart for taxis to operate in the newly renovated Old Taxi Park.
The chart given to taxi operators during a closed door meeting with Authority officials has a total of 27 stages whose taxis ply the routes along Jinja Road, Bombo Road and Kibuli Road.
Some of the stages include; Jinja, Busia, Luzira, Bukasa, Bweyogerere, Mukono, Luzira and Ntinda-Nakawa which exit the Park through Burton Street. Also Gayaza stage, Mpererwe, Kawempe, Bwaise, Kulambiro and Namugongo stage whose taxis are supposed to exit the Park through Ben Kiwanuka Street.
Others are Kayunga-Bugerere and Mulago-Nsooba-Kitala-Taso stages which shall exit through Mackay Road.
According to the route chart, taxis heading to the Entebbe Road that had been moved to Usafi shall not return to the Old Taxi Park upon reopening on May 22nd.
KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka told Journalists after the meeting at City Hall today that the intention of the meeting was to identify areas of concern in the park and forge a way forward. The issue regarding a route chart featured largely during the meeting as taxi operators wondered which taxis would operate in the old Park as it reopens.
Last year, KCCA working with the Ministry of Works and Transport issued temporary route charts to taxi operators which expired in December 2020. Now, following today’s meeting, KCCA issued a route chart which taxis operators will be expected to follow.
Kisaka says they also discussed how to harmonize governance of the park amidst existence of multiple associations all claiming to be unifying bodies for the operators. She says, they want to keep a close working relationship with stakeholders to ensure that the Park is well managed, government policies like taxes are respected and that there is order in the City.
Mustafa Mayambala, the Chairman of Uganda Transport Development Agency- UTRADA says that they have agreed with KCCA that taxi operators form a committee that shall work with the authority to streamline issues of Park management.
Some of the issues at hand arise from the route chart which some members say has duplicated stages. For instance, there are three Mukono stages all going through Bweyogere, Namanve and Seeta something they say could cause conflict on these stages as operators struggle for passengers.
Mayambala is optimistic that when KCCA engages the conflicting groups in their planning, it shall aid smooth operations of the Park and promote orderliness in the city.
Meanwhile, Gard Mugisha, the Chairman Taxi Owners Association has asked KCCA to remove all taxis operating in non-gazzetted areas like streets.
He says while some taxis operate in the park others are left to wait for passengers on the streets something that puts taxis in the parks at a disadvantage.
Meanwhile, KCCA is still in talks with the leadership of taxi operators to try and find a waiting area for taxis. The renovated park shall accommodate only 344 out of the 450 that were previously there. KCCA has therefore asked operators to identify a place to keep their taxis as they wait to access the Park.
KCCA plans to introduce a digital system that enables only taxis whose turn it is to load passengers to come to the Park such that taxis do not congest the park waiting to load passengers.