Analysis of public transport management and policies in Kampala City: A case of Kawempe Division
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Public transport is one of the main keys to development of any city center. Its systems and management play a great deal to enhance a properly designed and organized city. Unlike in many cities where public transport enhances the beauty of the city, public transport in and around Kampala city remains one of the challenges to its designs. In this study, an analysis of the existing public transport system, management and policies in Kampala city was attempted. The study focused on assessing the existing public transport system and policies in Kampala, identifying the constraints and challenges of public transport and suggesting recommendations to improve the current public transport system and policy implementation. The study was carried out in Kawempe division in five trading centers of Bwaise, Kalerwe, Kawempe, Mpererwe and Wandegeya. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches of data collection were applied. Data was collected by way of interviewer administered questionnaires, key informant interviews and documentary review. Data was collected from public transport users and operators as well as from key persons in transport planning and management. The study thus revealed that most people in Kampala use public transport to travel to different places with over 90% using commuter taxis. The commuters who spend an hour to travel to the main city center find the current Public Transport System (PTS) unfriendly to use in terms of affordability, accessibility, alternative means, flexibility, being fast and efficiency. The PTS is constrained by no clear channels of administration, governance, control and regulation of use and operation. In general the PTS in Kampala City is disorganized, poorly managed and has no clear policy framework resulting into increasing traffic jam, increased stress on the available road network and a low level of service. The system requires high level technical consultations and redesign for improvement. The study hence recommended for urgent design and formulation of clear governing laws and policies regarding managing of public transport in Kampala, adoption of use of taxi cabs and promotion of non-motorized transport for short distances within or around the city center and use of buses to transit long distances around the city and nearby towns. Furthermore the government should take up the role of managing and controlling public transport especially for long distance journeys, introduce a bus system or enter into public-private partnership to provide public transport. A follow up study on the analysis of public transport management in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan (Wakiso, Mpigi, Entebbe, Mukono and Kampala) should be undertaken with the objective of developing a comprehensive, effective and efficient Public Transport System.
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