Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will register an extra driver per taxi in the on-going exercise.
According to the Works and Transport minister Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, taxi operators are now allowed to register two taxi drivers per taxi.
When the exercise started on 30th May, for taxis to get route numbers from KCCA and get route charts of the Ministry of Works, taxi operators were asked to register only one driver per taxi.
However, many raised concern saying taxis cannot be operated by a single driver. Drivers cited incidences like sickness and fatigue that would require that a driver gets off the wheel and give the taxi to another driver.
Gen Katumba says they can register a second driver but these should fulfill conditions of a taxi driver for instance having a required class permit.
Mustafa Mayambala the chairman of Uganda Transport Development Agency says that having more than one driver per taxi will help them operate in shifts creating and opportunities for resting but also create employment.
However, taxi operators are still concerned that even with two drivers per taxi, some drivers will be left out. This is because there are drivers who do not have taxis but hung around stages to help anyone who cannot drive at a particular time.
The State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs Benny Namugwanya says that they will make adjustments as the process goes on to address such gaps.
She says especially since the issued route charts expire in December 2020, they are open to improvement.
She says they will continue to engage with taxi operators and asked them to provide feedback on the registration process for necessary changes to be made. Namugwanya also asked them to submit their complaints regarding route charts.
Taxi operators want the government to revise routes asking that all taxis set for one destination have a uniform route number even though coming from different stages.
Currently, taxis from different parks have different route numbers although they share a destination.
Having a uniform number will mean that a taxi plying to a destination like Jinja can operate at the Jinja stage in the new and the old taxi park.
Namugwanya says taxi operators should critique the process and that they will meet them next week to discuss the issues raised.
KCCA has also closed the two registration centres at Kitante Primary School and Old Kampala Secondary School. From tomorrow, registration of taxis shall be conducted at KCCA offices at the division and headquarters.
So far, over 12,000 taxis have been registered but only over 8,636 are allowed on the roads having secured route charts from the Ministry of Works and Transport.