Paul Omongin, the chairperson of Serere Drivers Association says only six taxis from Kagwara, Kamod, Pingire, Serere town and Ochapa had arrived to town in the morning. He explains that many passengers are finding it hard to cope with the new rates.
Public transport resumed on Thursday in different parts of the
country attracting few passengers.
The ban was lifted earlier this week provided they carry only half of their normal capacity.
mandatory for anyone travelling in a public vehicle to wear a face mask,
including the driver and conductor.
At the Bus and Taxi parks in Soroti town, few passengers were
seeking to travel to different destinations.
By 9:00 am, only YY and Kakise Kampala bound buses had left the park with a handful of passengers.
The buses that were supposed to leave Soroti by 7:00 am were
delayed by an hour due to lack of passengers.
At the Taxi Park, only two taxis had set off for Mbale while none
to Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Amuria and Serere.
Paul Omongin, the chairperson of Serere Drivers Association explains that passengers
are finding it hard to cope with the new rates.
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According to the rates, transport from Soroti to Kampala is 40,000
shillings from 20,000, Soroti to Kangole in Napak district 35,000 from 15,000 shillings,
Soroti to Kotido 40,000 from 20,000, Soroti to Lira now costs 20,000 from
12,000 shillings, Soroti- Serere town costs 10,000 from 5,000 and other destinations
like Kagwara in Kadungulu now cost 20,000 from 8,000 shillings.
Aman Matte, the Manager of Gateway Bus Company says that they were forced to
increase the fares since the buses now carry only half of their normal capacity.
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Salume Akiteng, a passenger found at the Bus Park says that much
as she wanted to travel, she is worried about her health since more people are
“I think I will have to postpone my journey because am not seeing
any seriousness here on social distancing. Yes, I can wash my hands and wear a
mask but what happens to the bus seat, luggage and money exchange? This public
transport is risky”, she said.
Moses Otimong, the Town Clerk of Soroti Municipality says all the
buses and taxis have been restricted to their respective parks along Old Mbale
Road. He adds that all entry points into the park have hand washing facilities and infrared
In Fort Portal, few passengers turned up in different bus parks
and taxi parks. At Nyakaseke Taxi Park, by 10:00 am, only four passengers were
at the park preparing to travel to Kampala.
The Chairperson Nyakaseke taxi park Bernard Kandole attributed the
low turn up to the ban on public transport in the border districts of Bundibugyo,
Ntoroko and Kasese. He says that the majority of the passengers are business people
from the three districts.
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Edward Akankwasa, the manager Baby coaches says that by 11:00
am, only 15 passengers had travelled to Kampala. He attributed the low turn up
to the increase in transport fares.
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Transport from Fort Portal to Kampala by bus has since doubled from
20,000 to 45,000 shillings Fort Portal to Kyenjojo from 5,000 10,000 shillings,
Fort Portal- Mbarara 35,000 from 25,000 shillings.