Bunyoro drivers decry few passengers as transport fares hike

Kagadi taxi park

Drivers in Bunyoro have decried the few number of passengers plying the region and beyond amidst a hike in transport fees.

in Masindi, taxi operators and drivers are financially crying foul since there are hardly any commuters connecting to Hoima.

Hoima was among the 40 border districts which President Yoweri Museveni vetoed from conducting public transport for three months as part of the measures to stop the spread of coronavirus before lifting it on Monday and maintaining it in other high Covid-19 prone border districts.

However, Mr Denis Kyahurwa, the Masindi Taxi Drivers Association vice chairman, says although President Museveni lifted the ban on public transport in Hoima, few passengers are cruising there.

He attributes the small number of passengers to the hiked transport fares meant to fill up the monetary numerical vacancies in the taxis since government instructed drivers to carry half the number of passengers to guard against transmitting coronavirus.

Transport fares from Masindi to Hoima were spiked from Shs10, 000 to Shs15, 000.

Audio: Kyahurwa on transport (Runyoro/Rutooro)

To guard against spreading Covid-19 among the occupants, Mr Kyahurwa says that drivers in Masindi are adhering to the Ministry of Health Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) by ensuring that passengers wash their hands at the entrance of the taxi park, sanitize themselves and also wear facemasks before boarding Public Service Vehicles (PSVs).

Audio: Kyahurwa on preventive measures (Runyoro/Rutooro)

In Kagadi fares have also been hiked for all routes such as Kagadi-Hoima, Kagadi-Kyenjojo and Kagadi-Kampala.

The Kagadi taxi park chairperson, Mr Matia Musoke, reveals that transport for Kagadi-Hoima has increased from Shs20, 000 to Shs25, 000,  Kagadi-Kampala from Shs25, 000 to Shs40, 000, and Shs30,000 from Kagadi to Fort Portal.

Mr Musoke says this has been done to balance the vacant seats adding that stakeholders in the public transport sector in Kagadi are also observing the SOPs as laid down by the Ministry of Health.

Like their counterparts, taxi drivers in Kagadi are also complaining about the few passengers.

In Hoima, fares have also increased, according to Mr James Byaleero, the chairman of Albertine Drivers Association.

It costs one Shs20, 000 up from Shs10, 000 to travel from Hoima to Masindi; Shs 25,000 from Hoima to Kyangwali; Shs35, 000 from Hoima-Kakumiro-Mubende; Shs25, 000 from Hoima-Kampala and Shs40, 000 from Hoima to Fort Portal among other routes.

Public transport is still banned in Buliisa district.


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