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KCCA to introduce Taxi apps

FILE PHOTO: KCCA acting ED, Andrew Kitaka

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA plans to introduce phone applications for taxi operators in a bid to decongest the city.

According to the Authority, once the app is introduced, taxis will only show up at stages and parks to pick up passengers once called. The KCCA acting Executive Director, Andrew Kitaka disclosed while updating the public on KCCA’s achievements and their future plans for the city.

According to Kitaka, the taxis will operate from designated areas where they can connect to town. He says KCCA has started sensitizing the taxi operators and connecting them to app developers.

According to Kitaka, the initiative will help decongest the city. He explains that this will work like Bolt, Safe Boda and Uber. With the app, the customers can order for a taxi while at the stage or near it. Just like the smart Bodas, the fare will be visible to the passengers before they put in their request. The operators on the other side will be notified when there are customers such that they can pick them up and start the trip.

The KCCA Spokesperson, Peter Kaujju, says KCCA is considering partnering with existing transport services providers like Uber and Bolt among others that use online booking since they have already been in business.

He says that they are also engaging with other stakeholders in the taxi business to come up with a more inclusive and tangible plan. Kaujju says they expect to have come up with a more concrete plan within three months that can effectively be implemented.

KCCA has been grappling with congestion in Kampala. Hundreds of passenger taxis operate in the city, which lead a gridlock during rush hours. In 2015, KCCA proposed to ban Boda Bodas from the city center areas bordered by Wandegeya, Mulago round-about via Yusuf Lule Road to Jinja Road and Warid Clock Tower junctions, and Entebbe Road to Clock Tower.

The plan was not implemented. Kaujju says that KCCA has left the issue of Boda Boda to be handled through the general government plan, which involves registering all cyclists, allocating them visible numbers, making uniforms for them and having well managed stages.

Currently, KCCA is working on a plan to redevelop the old taxi part and have a bigger and modern facility. It also has a plan to reduce low capacity vehicles like Boda Bodas and Matatus from the city and instead introduce bus and train services.

This plan according to Eng. Kitaka may be implemented in five years’ time.

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