By Benjamin Mukose
Kampala Capital City Authority is currently undertaking construction works aimed at restructuring, improving and making transport more efficient, better organised and responsive to the current public health needs, Betty Among the Minister for Kampala has revealed.
Some of the new changes that city residents should expect to see when the lock down is lifted include colour and number coded stages and routes for public transport. Different routes in the city will be given different numbers and colour codes. Taxis will be expected to ply specific routes depending on their numbers and colour codes. Taxis, their routes and destinations will therefore be recognizable by their numbers and colour codes.
The new developments are specifically intended to manage the two biggest modes of transport in the city- boda boda (motorcycle taxis) and minibus taxis.
Amongi said that the authority has gazetted 66 stages- to which taxis on different routes will be assigned. Each stage will have its leaders to ensure order and compliance to public health measures like social distancing, washing of hands, wearing of masks, avoiding crowding. She said numbers of people entering the parks and stages will be regulated to ensure adequate space for social distancing. No big numbers will be allowed at any particular time in the parks.
Amongi lifted the lead on the current works taking place in the city while speaking at a webinar hosted by a Kampala Think Thank, Centre for Advanced Strategic Leadership (CASTLE). The topic of the webinar was: “Covid-19: Opportunity to Thrive.” The webinar was moderated by Radio One’s Gabriel Iguma.
Amongi said the improvements that the authority has been making during the lockdown will usher new changes when the city reopens.
She also said that the Authority will target to eliminate taxis in bad mechanical condition that pollute the city. She revealed that a 2019 study found that Kampala was the second worst city in Africa as far as air quality was concerned, and that the pollution was mainly caused by taxis. She said going forward taxis will have to undergo the mandatory inspection before they are allowed to operate in the city.
Trucks transiting through the city will equally be allocated routes which they have to comply with.
Among explained that the principle behind this re-structuring is to enable monitoring and tracking all vehicles that use city roads. This will help both in prevention of crime and for tracing suspect for public health reasons- such as the case in the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Other speakers in the webinar included Gen. Katumba Wamala, minister for Works & Transport, Eng. Charles Kateeba, managing director Uganda Railways Corporation, Jennifer Mwijukye, the chief executive officer Unifreight Group of Companies, Dr. Merian Sebunya, chairperson National Logistics Platform and Nathan Byanyima, chairman, Uganda Bus Owners Association.