An assessment of the spatial distribution and layout of bus terminals in Kampala’s central business district.
Karugaba, Simon Peter
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Kampala city comprises of several bus terminals. Unfortunately, due to the various operational problems associated with these terminals, the standards and guidelines concerning their designs and locations have been questioned. This research attempted to assess the spatial distribution and layout of bus terminals in Kampala’s Central Business District (CBD). The research adopted both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The primary data was collected using direct observation, analysis of ortho-photographs and aerial photographs, interviews, case studies and questionnaires, whereas secondary data was obtained through reviewing existing literature on the research topic from books, journals, the internet, newspapers, records and reports from urban authorities and institutions. Qualitative data was presented by quotations, transcriptions and annotation whereas Microsoft Office Excel was used to present the quantitative data in tabular form. From the analysis of findings, the study revealed that site location considerations and terminal requirements are essential in the development of functional bus terminals. Additionally, all the bus terminals in Kampala’s CBD are informal, and political interference, institutional fragmentation and conflicts, passenger demand are some of the factors that influenced their current location. The study also established that the bus terminals in Kampala’s CBD had created a more compact urban form, provided job opportunities amongst other advantages, however the presence of narrow access roads to the terminals had aggravated traffic congestion within the city centre and their informality had created conflicting land uses. And besides the inappropriate arrangement of terminal components, the study disclosed that there are no satisfactory and detailed standards concerning the location, capacity and requirements of bus terminals in Uganda, but Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) uses a checklist comprising of requirements that a bus terminal must have before issuance of a one-year temporary occupational vi permit. Moreover, even though the terminals had some of the essential terminal requirements, they were either insufficient or in poor conditions. Hence, bus terminals were facing planning and design challenges. The bus passengers had different and mixed perceptions towards the bus terminal facilities in Kampala city. Finally, the study disclosed that there isn’t any competent bus terminal facility in Kampala’s CBD. The study went further to suggest; development of appropriate and detailed terminal standards and guidelines, integration of universal design and sustainable development practices in terminal development, development of terminals at the city outskirts, restructuring of institutional frameworks, improvement on security and safety, use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), development of public and passenger specific bus terminals, development of appropriate bus terminal layouts and political support as recommendations towards the development of satisfactory and functional bus terminals in Kampala’s CBD.