KAMPALA — Taxi operators in Kampala have raised concern about the delayed completion of the Old Taxi Park.
Last year, Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA started reconstruction works at the Park promising to complete it in three months.
However, nine months after, construction works are still going on. The contractors Sterling Construction Company Limited are yet to complete constructing passenger waiting shades, construction of toilets and paving a section of the park. The drainage system is also yet to be completed.
When construction started in May, taxis from the old Taxi Park were relocated to Usafi and the New Taxi Park, while others resorted to parking on the streets, causing congestion which has affected traffic flow.
The most affected roads are Namirembe, Kafumbe Mukasa, Nakivubo and Barkley road, which all lead to the New Taxi Park.
Fred, a driver on the Salaama-Munyonyo road along Kafumbe Mukasa road, says that he spends more than an hour in the New Taxi Park waiting to load passengers and exiting the park.
He asked KCCA to expedite works at the Old Taxi Park.
Medi Ssembatya also a driver at the Mpigi stage says he spent an hour held up in a traffic jam barely 100 meters from the entrance of the Park. He says traffic jam disrupts their work because they cannot make more routes to their destinations.
Ssembatya also says that all taxis from the different stages use one exit which means that a taxi from an end of the park has to manoeuvre through the highly populated taxi park to exit.
Another driver, Hud Mulindwa Kayaaya who works on the Hoima stage says on top of the number of taxis increasing in the park, the taxis are poorly organized. He adds that the roads are narrow and yet taxis, Boda Bodas, private cars and buses all compete to use the same roads.
Angello Kakinda, a driver on Entebbe road also says having an increased number of vehicles on narrow roads is what has affected traffic flow. He proposes that KCCA redirects traffic of some vehicles like trucks carrying goods to shops downtown. For instance, the trucks use Mini Price, Kikuubo Road and Ben Kiwanuka Street.
Taxis operating on the streets are equally affected since they have to pay Multiplex Limited for parking.
KCCA expects to complete construction of the Park by March 4 and is planned for 344 taxis.