Public Transport stakeholders have confirmed their readiness to fully support Tondeka Metro buses an initiative aimed at improving urban transport services in and around Kampala capital city.
Over 980 Ashok Leyland buses from the Hinduja group, India are expected to be imported into Uganda the year 2020 to kick start a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system in the Kampala metropolitan area.
The Tondeka Metro buses will initially work on the Kampala-Nsangi, Kampala-Wakiso, Kampala-Mukono, Kampala-Matugga Kampala-Buloba, and Kampala-Ggaba routes under the management of the Uganda Development Corporation.
At the grand stakeholders meeting, the chairperson of Uganda Transport Development Agency (UTRADA) Mustafa Mayambala, said as taxi operators they are ready to work with Tondeka Metro buses to sanitize public transport means in the city
“We have had such projects like city link, easy buses, Wakula Enumme, Pioneer buses but they did not work out simply because they made one major mistake of leaving us out,” said Mayambala.
Adding, “….And since Tondeka decided to bring us on board as key stakeholders; definitely we are going to work with them to ensure that the initiative is a success.”
Mayambala also revealed that in 2015, President Museveni briefed him on the need to have an improved transportation system.
Mayambala also cautioned Tondeka Metro against sidelining taxi operators when it comes to giving out jobs.
“As leaders, we are protecting the interests of our members. We shall not allow people from outside to take our jobs. We also have professionals in the transport industry. We want our qualified people to take all the available positions.”
In the same way, Dr. Peter Kimbowa, the Tondeka Metro Board Chairman assured taxi operators that the initiative will create more than 20,000 jobs with them [taxi operators] being highly prioritized.
The buses will be operating in a more civilized way catering for all kinds of people and at the same time cheap, affordable, accessible and safe.
The Hinduja Group, renowned manufacturers of the Leyland brand are also expected to manage a robust cashless system that will see passengers for the first time in the history of Urban transport in Uganda use Radio Frequency Identification Cards (RFID-Cards) to swipe their way on board.
Passengers will load money on their bus card and simply swipe it to be granted access. The buses will not be handling cash. Passenger fares will range from UGX.1,200 for a single route card, UGX. 3,500 for a daily travel card, UGX.18,000 for a weekly card and UGX. 55,000 for a monthly travel card.
The first batch of buses to a total of 400 are expected to arrive in September and then 200 buses each month until they total to 980 buses.