Drivers abandoned the park because many passengers had difficulty walking from the city centre to Usafi
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Tens of taxi drivers have continued to operate outside Usafi taxi park years after it was constructed by Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA and commissioned for use.
KCCA had directed all taxis plying the Entebbe route to relocate from the Old taxi park to Usafi park, a directive which affected several stages among them Kajjansi, Zana, Namasuba, Kasenyi, Ndeeba- Sembuule, Kibuye Queens-Way and Ndejje. Also in the same park were taxis to Makindye, Salaama-Munyonyo and Nsambya routes.
The re-organization and traffic changes were intended to improve traffic flow in the city. But the park remains vacant as taxi drivers operate along Queens-Way Nkrumah road and Shoprite on Burton street. The drivers say that they were forced to abandon the park because many of their passengers had difficulty walking from the city centre.
Another driver David Kasule says that because there are a few passengers coming to Usafi, a taxi spends longer hours before it sets off. This consequently affects the number of times they ply the routes and subsequently their incomes. He adds that they are outcompeted by bodabodas which are easily available to passengers yet charging almost the same rate.
Godfrey Ssekimpi, one of the drivers says that passengers detest traffic jam to an extent that when they board a taxi at Kibaati and it attempts to use Queens Way, they protest and ask the driver to use alternative routes. He says they should be applauded for reducing traffic jam in town because for them, they use alternative routes.
Another driver says KCCA should let town service vehicles operate near passengers for easy access. He argues that long-distance taxis can afford to stage outside town.
Taxi operators who have remained in Usafi park say KCCA should deal with their colleagues operating a parallel park on the sideline of the road.
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