Transport fares spike high as public transport resumes

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Transport Fares spike high as per public transport resumes. Whisper Eye News

Transport fares across the country went up on Monday following the resumption of public transport after a 42-day lockdown.

In his address on Friday, President Museveni allowed public transport to resume, with vehicles operating at half capacity.Mr Museveni warned that any bleach of standard operating procedures (SOPs) by the public transporters would lead to suspension.

By 6am on Monday, people in the Kampala Metropolitan area that includes Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso had started pouring on roads to board taxis, buses and boda bodas to their respective workplaces.

However, they were met with a sharp increase in the fares, leaving many stranded. For instance, taxi fares from Mukono to Kampala were increased by 4000 shs from the usual 5000 to 9000 shillings now. Wakiso Town to the city centre were increased to Shs5,000, up from Shs4,000 before the lockdown was imposed.

Those who opted for boda bodas from Wakiso to the city centre had to part with Shs20,000, up from Shs15,000.

Travellers on Kampala-Entebbe route by taxi parted with Shs7,000, up from Shs6,000, while those from Gayaza to the city centre parted with Shs6,000 up from Shs5,000 before the second lockdown.

Taxi drivers have attributed to the sharp increase to the High demand and increasing prices for fuel.

“We are currently operating at 50 per cent as directed by the President, but when the demand is high, we are also forced to slightly increase the fares so that we can meet other expenses. The fuel prices are also going high. We put al these factors into consideration. ” Mr Justus Masembe,a taxi driver spoke

In Kabale District, bus operators increased the fare to Mbarara from Shs15,000 to Shs30,000, and that to Kampala from Shs30,000 to Shs60,000. From Kabale to Masaka by bus now costs Shs40,000, up from Shs20,000

The chairperson of Kabale Bus Park Operators Association, Mr Henry Tindyebwa, said they have hiked the fares in order to meet costs.
“The transport fares have been increased in order to meet fuel and other related costs but also due to the fact that we are operating at half capacity,” Mr Tindyebwa said.

In Fort Portal City, Mr Ivan Mwesige of Kat Transporters said from Fort Portal to Mbarara, they now charge Shs40,000, up from Shs30,000.
“We are carrying few passengers because we want to respect SOPs but also there are many passengers who would to travel,” he said.
have to pay Shs20,000 from Shs10,000,” he said.

In Tororo, the transport fares have also shot up. From Malaba to Kampala, one has to pay Shs30,000, up from Shs25,000, and transport from Malaba to Mbale is Shs12,000, from Shs7,000.

Mr James Mugeni, a taxi driver, said they have increased the transport from Tororo to Kampala to Shs30,000, up from Shs25,000. In Mbale, Mr Bashir Mabanja, the publicity secretary of Mbale Taxi Drivers, Conductors and Owners Sacco, said they have maintained the fares as before the second lockdown.

“We have not made any changes in the transport because we know the situation people are going through,” he said

The transport fare from Lira to Kampala is Shs40,000; Lira to Gulu is Shs25,000; Lira to Soroti is Shs25,000, Lira to Mbale is Shs30,000 while Lira to Kotido is Shs40,000.

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