Government ordered the roll out of out Pioneer Easy Bus services on Monday following threats by taxi operators to stage a strike, KCCA executive Director Jennifer Musisi has disclosed.
She says that some of the proposals government came up with included the roll out of Pioneer Easy buses and passenger train services under the Rift Valley Railways. She says that the options being considered include the use of government buses and vehicles should the need arise. Musisi says the buses are going to continue operating until the situation normalizes.
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She argues that complains regarding the lack of number plates is not valid adding that buses have number such as P 029 B which she says is a government number. She says that due to the nature of the emergency the time did not allow ministry of works to print out the numbers on metal plucks.
But the process of registering the buses under URA to acquire the normal Ugandan registration numbers is ongoing. She however, explains that KCCA is waiting for a report from Parliament to give them green line to gazette lanes and stages for the buses. The acting physical planning director Semambo Joseph says as KCCA they have already identified the areas on which the buses shall operate in.
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Legislators sitting on the Parliamentary committee on Public Service and Local Government had demanded that the activities of the Pioneer Easy bus be stopped. They insisted that the company is operating illegally because its contract with KCCA expired in October last year.
Musisi also clarifies that the fare is strictly 800 shillings for buses and 1500 shs for those using the train service. The buses are also operating beyond their kilometers and moving on almost all routes within Kampala which is contrary to the agreement signed with KCCA.
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KCCA also intensified collection of the 120,000 monthly fees to be paid by the taxi operators. By this morning, the authority had collected 450 million shillings and still counting. Taxi owners are expected to pay the money by the 15th of every month. Musisi says the money after collection is expected to fund areas of taxi park lighting, revamp the taxi parks and clean up the city.
Musisi warned the taxi owners from being misled by politicians and encourage them to strike who she says earn more money than the taxi operators who earn on a daily basis. However, she stressed that the KCCA target audience are not the taxi touts and drivers but the owners who have fleets of taxi and ensure they pay the money.