Passengers Feel the Pinch as Bus Companies Raise Fares

Bus companies plying between Kampala and Up-Country towns have raised fares by an average of 5,000 shillings all major routes barely two weeks to Christmas.
Bus companies plying the Kampala and up-country routes have raised fares by an average of 5,000 shillings on all major routes barely two weeks to Christmas.

Even with a hike in fares passengers on the Kampala to Mbale, Soroti route were stranded at the Qualicel bus terminal. The hike in fares has left passengers crying foul but without any option.

Kampala to Mbarara fare has shot up from 25,000 to 40,000 shillings.

Joseph Nyanzi, a bus driver, said transport started increasing after schools closed and will continue to increase until December 23.

Nyanzi explained that passengers should expect to travel for as much as 50,000 shillings from Kampala to Mbarara because most buses return almost empty.

However the big number of the buses on the road has helped to delay bus fares from shooting up faster. A ban on buses making return journeys on the same day has also been put in place by police. Over ten bus drivers have been fined as much as 800,000 shillings for making return journeys.

Moses Mutaka, a Mechanic in Mpondwe, said the bus fare from Kampala to Kasese had been raised from 20,000 to 40,000 shillings.

Jasper Okello, a Lira businessman who was in Kampala to shop, lamented the increase in bus fares from 20,000 to 30,000 saying there was no justification.

Patrick Bidome an accountant from Lira said that bus companies were so eager to enforce the fares that nobody can get on the bus without paying.

The fare between Kampala to Gulu has increased from 25,000 to 30,000 shillings, Mbale from 15,000 to 25,000, Soroti fare is up from 30,000 to 35,000 shillings.

Kampala to Gulu is now 30,000 shillings, Kisoro is at 50,000 shillings. 

Sebaana Kizito, the Director S.K. Bismarkhan Company Limited, says the extra 5,000 shillings is meant to cater for the fuel during the return journey.

According that even the strict rules by traffic police not to allow any bus to make a return journey will cause bus companies to keep increasing bus fares to as much as 60,000 shillings by Christmas.