Some bus companies in Uganda have sharply hiked transport fares as Ugandans living in urban areas rush to their home villages to enjoy Christmas festivities with their relatives.
Currently, many passengers in Kampala are stranded in various bus parks around Kampala as the available buses are few to transport them at ago to upcountry homes. They are waiting for those coming from upcountry.
Transport fares range from Shs3500 to Shs100, 000 for those travelling to Juba.
Bus managers like always, when it comes to this period of the year, say the sharp increase in transport fares is meant to compensate for fuel consumption from upcountry as a few passengers board to Kampala. Taxi operators to places like Mbale, Tororo and Busia have also upped their fares.
“We have increased transport fares because when we return to Kampala, the taxi is almost empty with a few passengers yet we have to refill fuel and pay taxes,” said Abdu Kafeero a taxi operator who operates between Kampala and Mbale, which distance is normally charged Shs10, 000 but has now rose to Shs35000 from Kampala due to many clients going for Christmas.
Meanwhile, Y.Y Coaches has maintained its record of not increasing the fares. Isaac Olanya, the Manager at Y.Y Coaches says the fare is stagnant at Shs25, 000 from Kampala to Lira as other Companies charge between Shs30, 000 and Shs40, 000.
A booking assistant at Bakuli Bus Terminal for Buses going to western Uganda says the rates depend on the influx of passengers and availability of buses in the park. To Western Uganda, different Companies have introduced different fares in accordance to the number of travelers.
The bus operators say the hiked transport fare rates were agreed upon with the Transport Licensing Board under the Works and Transport Ministry last Friday. The board allowed the increment on condition that they rest all their drivers and turn men who have operated one way during the return journey for all destinations above 300 Kilometers.
However, Eagle Online understands some private car owners, schools and other institutions have taken advantage of the Christmas season to offer their vehicles for commercial purposes. They are transporting passengers upcountry as well.
Current Transport fares for selected routes
Kampala -Juba = 100,000
Kampala-Elegu = 75,000
Kampala-Bwindi = 80,000
Kampala-Kabale = 45,000
Kampala-Kisoro = 45,000
Kampala-Gulu = 40,000
Kampala-Mbarara = 40,000
Kampala-Rukungiri = 40,000
Kampala-Lira = 40,000