A total of 980 Ashok Leyland buses from Hinduja Group- India, are going to be imported initially to kick start a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system in metropolitan Kampala.
The buses have that will be known as Tondeka are expected to start operating this year with the first bunch of 400 arriving in September.
According to the Minister for Works and Transport General Edward Katumba Wamala, the buses will operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on a cashless mode of transaction which will be managed by Hinduja Group, the manufacturers of the Leyland brand.
Their operations will be within a radius of 25KM in and around Kampala on specified routes of Kampala-Mukono on Jinja Road, Kampala- Nsangi on Masaka Road, Kampala- Buloba on Mityana Road, Kampala- Wakiso on Hoima Road, Kampala-Matugga on Bombo Road; Kampala – Entebbe and Kampala- Ggaba.
Despite the project getting endorsed by majority of the public over its good cause, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago is among the few people who are not convinced with the initiative.
While appearing on NBS TV on Wednesday, Lukwago said the Tondeka Metro bus project will not sold the transport mess in the city since its owned by money-minded private individuals.
“We need to fix the mess in the public transport sector. We must sort it out. Unfortunately, the government is not ready to support the efforts we have as KCCA. We have a mass public transport plan which is being supported by the World Bank and this means multiple transport avenues. This new project does not conform to it. It is a private entity being championed by people in government,” He said.
However, his message was not well received by some Ugandans on social media who feel the project will solve the transport and congestion problems in the city.
Here are some of the responses;
Kamakune Stellah “But why does Erias come out to say something when its already approved. We have heard these stories of new buses for some time now but he didn’t come out to say anything, now that it was launched he is trying to get to the good side of the public. I don’t know about others but to me Erias we are tired of you playing on our minds.”
Kula Frank “You people, stop politicising everything. Don’t you see how taxis cheat people when it rains when it is at 4 pm, fares are hiked up? That habit is always on Jinja road. For me, I strongly support this tondeka bus scheme.”
Glen Jacobs “The problem with Uganda is politics in everything, people use politics to fail government programs, the government engages in politics and fails service at delivery.”
Frena Roline Kathe “We are Tired of You Step down for another Person Transport akulemye for the last 3 Terms you been in Office lwaki Kati okyesibako. Transportation ye Kampala Is Hell.so don’t tell us Lies.”
Paul Nixon Bukoma “So Lukwago has a transport master plan which he has not shared with the central government and is at the same time blaming the government for coming up with theirs?”
Ibrahim A. Manzil “You See nothing, do nothing, complain about everything, cry-baby, incompetent Lord Mayor. I’m just one of the residents in Kampala who are irritated by his lack of leadership and extreme incompetence.”
Christina Mirembe Love “How some of us are already regretting the departure of Musisi! Kampala is again a mess. Garbage everywhere, no order etc. She may have been tough but we must admit that ever since she left Kampala for you Mr Lord Mayor, we have not seen anything good.”
Praise Canela “I support anything that’s here to compete with these taxi men who are arrogant, thieves, fraudulent, keep hiking prices, drive recklessly, drop off people on the way without reaching town etc I hate taxi drivers and conductors.”
Mulimira Jonathan “Mr Lukwago your right but let us go with the new transport plan because it will control jam in Kampala only just make some amendments in it like 1. (1)Let taxi work from 1:00 pm up to 5:pm because during that period there is no jam in Kampala 2. (2)Transport increments should be done by KCCA in public and by reason 3. (3)How they will b driven in Kampala and many other.”
Steve Harry Mwenya “Naye Lukwago, at least for this time let’s go with what is being brought by the government, I know u oppose everything whether good or bad, but this is a good cause which will see our city grow.”
However, some stood with Lukwago and said it was a move by the mafia’s to take on transport in Kampala leaving the poor taxi driver jobless
Kakira Kambushi “Again Mafias have hijacked our city, and the president looks on. A world bank project surely needs to take precedence over these private initiatives designed to impoverish. The Mayor alone is a small defence against this Mafia”
Sega Charles “I contend with lord .mayor on this one because the government never plans before jumping on mega projects. An example at hand is the defunct pioneer buses which are parked at Nambole.”
Cirus Devirus, “These taxis employ so many people including drivers, conductors, washing bays, garages where they go for repairs and the people who import spare parts from Japan. To mention but a few. But someone wants to own buses solely as if tunalya wuwee. Stop these tendencies of thinking it’s only your families that matter. Let the buses come and compete with the taxis fairly or give the taxi owners a grace period coz some of those vehicles are on loans, how do you expect their owners to repay them back. You made us hate this country.”
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share with us: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org