KAMPALA – Uganda Railways Corporation (URC), the parastatal railway of Uganda, and SafeBoda a ride-hailing service provider working with Easy Matatu, a transportation startup have jointly launched a mobility partnership dubbed Tutambule Ffena.
The initiative, launched on Thursday, March 2, 2023, in the city center seeks ease connectivity, to and from the train stations along the Kampala – Namanve route.
Under this arrangement, Mr. Jessica Bakabazira, the acting Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) for URC said all train commuters using the Kampala – Namanve route would be able to purchase tickets using Safe Boda and Easy Matatu apps.
The partnership would enable train commuters to book rides to and from the train station whereas those using the Easy Matatu phone application will also be able to book taxis to and from train stations.
“This partnership is aimed at offering our passengers the much-needed first and last mile to and from our train at specified terminals including, Kampala Station, Namboole, and Namanve using Easy Matatu and Safe Boda services. The Corporation’s overall objective is to make rail the preferred freight and passenger service provider in Uganda and beyond, and thus, this initiative and more to come to feed into this objective,” Mr. Bakabazira said, explaining the initiative seeks to extend passenger services to other areas including Mukono, Kyengera, and Portbell.
Completion of the upgrade is expected to increase rail capacity and lower transport costs. Uganda Railways says that passenger hubs will be built alongside upgrades of the Kampala – Mukono, Mukono – Kyengera, and Kampala – Port Bell routes.
DMU-worked passenger services are expected to help reduce road congestion.
Lenon Sengendo the senior public relations and communications officer, Uganda railways, said a total of 245km are being upgraded under the second phase, which covers the Namanve – Tororo and Kampala – Kyengera sections as well as the branches from Kampala to Port Bell and to Jinja port.
He said the second phase would also include the acquisition of new locomotives and wagons and workshop equipment.
Meanwhile, Catherine Tulina Kafumbe, SafeBoda Uganda’s deputy Country Director said the initiative passengers would support online train ticket purchase
“This initiative is aimed at improving ease and convenience while purchasing train tickets in order to shorten queues at the railway stations. Complementing these efforts, SafeBoda has positioned riders near the train stations to ease passengers’ access to transportation to and from their various destinations,” Kafumbe said.
Transport fintech recently launched a car-hailing service, SafeCar as it continues to revolutionize the vehicle taxi industry.
Kafumbe said that the future of urban transportation is about community, supporting drivers to make more money, enhancing their welfare, and giving customers a convenient world-class cashless experience.
Andrew Lema, the team leader at Easy Matatu, whose startup is part of the partnership said they will continuously innovate to ensure they redefine public transport for commuters and positively impact the transport industry in Uganda at large.
“Redefining public transport is at the heart of Easy Matatu’s mission and we this partnership will allow us to do that. This partnership will create a template for other ecosystem players to collaboratively improve Uganda’s transportation system to further foster economic growth through access to affordable and reliable transportation and job creation,” Lema said.
He said commuters can book and pay for seats on scheduled rides by trained Easy Matatu minibus taxis.
Operations are currently on Entebbe, Najjera, Kira, Seeta, and Mukono roads
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