KAMPALA – With Christmas only a week away, bus companies have increased transport fares for trips upcountry following a rise in the number of travelers.
A mini-survey conducted by this website on Tuesday, December 17 at different bus and taxi parks in Kampala revealed that most fares have nearly doubled.
On the western route, buses such as Global Coaches, Kalita, Swift Safaris and Ibabu have increased their fares. For example, transport fares from Kampala to Mbarara have increased to Shs30,000 from 15,000; Kampala to Bushenyi have increased to Shs40,000 from Shs20,000 while those heading to Rukungiri will have to part with Shs45,000 from Shs30,000. Travellers from Kampala to Kabale will have to pay between Shs60,000 and Shs70,000, up from Shs35,000.
Those heading to Kisoro from Kampala are currently required to pay Shs50,000 from Shs40,000; Kampala-Kasese is now Shs45,000; Kampala- Fort Portal is between 35,000 and 45,000; Kampala to Bundibugyo is 40,000 and Kampala to Masindi is now at Shs 25,000 shillings. Those heading to Kanungu have to part with Shs70,000.
Those travelling from Kampala to Kigali Rwanda have to pay Shs60,000 and those heading to Juba are required to pay Shs100,000.
For the West Nile route, transport to Pakwach and Nebbi is now 40,000, Arua is at Shs45,000, Koboko and Yumbe is at 50,000. Kampala to Adjumani is now at Shs50,000 while Kampala-Yumbe goes for 45,000 and Arua at Shs40,000.
For trips to eastern Uganda, those heading to Soroti have to part with between Shs30,000 and Shs40,000; Kampala – Mbale is between Shs25,000 and Shs30,000.
Amidst the high fares, residents had to line up to board buses which are scarce.
A bus conductor at Gaaga buses, which plies the northern route, said that the buses get stuck upcountry and delay to return because of many travellers.
The conductor, who requested anonymity added that the buses also return empty and for them to recoup their investment in fuel and other operating costs, they have to hike the fare.
At Global Coaches Bus Park in Old Kampala, the huge bus fares and long queues have put off some travellers.
“What’s this? I came knowing that I will pay at least 20,000 and you tell me 30,000? This is theft. When will government regulate this?” said Abel Byamukama.
Bus conductors at Global Coaches refused to comment on the matter.