Government has warned that any public transport vehicle found to be carrying passengers without a mask will lose its Public Service Vehicle (PSV) license, in a new set of strict guidelines issued to taxi operators.
Public transport vehicles will resume their operations on June 4 following a two-month long ban by government as part of measures to slow the spread of coronavirus disease in Uganda.
Recently, President Yoweri Museveni said that public transport vehicles such as taxis and buses will operate at half passenger capacity.
In a new set of guidelines revealed by Minister for Kampala Cuty and Metropolitan Affairs, Betty Amongi, operators of public transport will be required to put in place measures to protect passengers from contracting the disease among them, adequate PPE, reducing direct contact between staff and passengers, checking temperature and other systems that can monitor possible symptoms.
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has also prohibited touts from parks and stages.
Passengers will line up on clearly marked points at each stage while taxis shall park at designated areas in accordance with the 2 meters stipulated in the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
In addition, each Passenger Service Vehicle is required to have hand washing facilities while all passengers must wear a face mask. No passenger will be allowed in the vehicle without a mask. A vehicle found carrying passengers without a mask risks losing their license.
KCCA has directed all taxi operators to report to KCCA beginning today (Thursday) to be assigned the parks/stages and routes where they will be operating.
Upon obtaining the stage/route of operating, the taxis will then report to Ministry of Works and Transport to obtain a temporary route chart valid until December 31.
“For now, mandatory fees payable are; PSV license, renewal of driving permit if expired and third party insurance. All other government fees are payable by December 31 giving a grace period of 6 months,” Minister Amongi said.
The grace period is to allow the public transport operators obtain a permanent route chart, color code for Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) and their user fees. Effective January 1, 2021, all vehicles that would have not complied shall not be permitted to operate in GKMA.
Every taxi park will be assigned KCCA officials to manage it.
In the case of boda bodas, the Minister says government is in the process of finalizing the extent of boda boda freezones and the gazetting og boda boda stages in the city.
Future boda boda operations will also be subjected to SOPs, she said. Gazetting of stages and their return to the city will be communicated in due course. At the moment, they will continue to carry only luggage and observe curfew time limits.
“We are working with different developers to digitalize public transport management including developing booking applications,” the Minister said.
Operators of buses have also been instructed to report to the Ministry of Works and Transport for guidance.