Minister: Pioneer Easy Bus Yet To Be Approved

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In short
The minister of state for Transport, Stephen Chebrot has said that the Pioneer Easy Bus (PEB) will not operate until the right procedures are followed.

The minister of state for Transport, Stephen Chebrot has said that the Pioneer Easy Bus (PEB) will not operate until the right procedures are followed.

The minister on Thursday surprised an ongoing probe in parliament saying he came to learn of Pioneer Easy Bus through the media. Ironically, the minister of transport only met the officials of the bus company after a petition was filed by the leadership of Mukono, Kiira, Entebbe and Wakiso through Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze. The leaders are seeking the intervention of parliament to establish the legality of Pioneer Easy Bus to conduct operations in their jurisdictions.

He gave an order to the Transport Licensing Board that no Public Service Vehicle (PSV) would be given to Pioneer Easy Bus without his permission and that of the Ministry of Transport.

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But the Minister agrees there is need to decongest the city using buses for public transport. Chebrot noted that they have not even conducted checks on the buses that arrived in Uganda. The buses must be checked to determine their road worthiness and provision for the disabled people among other requirements.

He told MPs that even the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) must be involved to see what kind of emissions the buses make.

Pioneer Easy Bus must also have a Memorandum of Understanding with other neighbouring councils of Kiira, Mukono, Wakiso and Entebbe.

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The, minister who complained that the ministry was not involved in the concession agreement, challenged the powers of Kampala Capital City Authority to determine bus fares.

In 2011, the then Minister of Transport, John Nasasira issued a statutory instrument that would regulate city bus services. But Chebrot stated that is was not practical that KCCA should be the one to determine the fares. He wondered how often the review would be given the fluctuating fuel prices. The Minister instead suggested that the power be reverted to the bus company.

In 2010, Pioneer Easy Bus was contracted to operate bus transport in the eastern and western zones of Kampala Metropolitan Authority including Mukono, Luzira, Bweyogerere, Ntinda, Naalya, Kasubi and Wakiso.

The contract signed between KCCA and the bus company was to be extended for five-years based on performance and fulfillment of one year. But both parties have failed to fulfill their contractual obligations.

Pioneer Easy Bus was to import 522 buses within nine months while KCCA was to gazette the bus lanes, stops and stages which it also didn’t comply with. However, due to the delays the company has never started operations and it was scheduled to kick start their work on March 1st 2012.