Tondeka Bus Transport Company Limited has commenced transport services within Kampala city.
“The Ministry of Works and Transport has cleared, licenced and declared Tondeka buses fit and safe to transport people in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area,” the bus company tweeted on Tuesday.
“We are commencing the city bus service, starting with Ntinda circular as approved by KCCA.”
A visit to the Constitutional Square on Tuesday morning saw one of the buses calling for passengers for the route to Jinja Road, Lugogo, Nakawa, Ntinda, Bukoto, Mulago and Wandegeya.
The route goes for shs1000 way less than the charges by taxis plying the same route.
Last week, Tondeka Bus Company received five buses from Kiira Motors to start the city transport business as one of the ways to decongest the city.
Another 25 buses are also expected before the year end from Kiira Motors for the same bus company.
A few year ago, President Museveni directed Ministry of Finance to fast track the Tondeka Metro Buses’ Initiative aimed at improving urban transport services in and around the capital city.
A total of 980 Ashok Leyland buses from Hinduja Group- India, were to be imported initially to kick start a safe, reliable and affordable public transport system in metropolitan Kampala.
However, last year, as he commissioned the Kiira Motor plant, the president gave a directive banning the importation of buses into Uganda as a way of supporting the country’s automotive industry.
“No more importing of wholly built vehicles. They wanted to play me a game that African Development Bank has lent us money but I don’t want to hear that. I won’t allow it. These thieves don’t care about others. They only think about their food. I insisted I can’t allow wholly built buses,”Museveni said in August last year.
“There shouldn’t be any more assembling of buses since it had some issues because a bus is manufactured from abroad and brought here in parts.You are hoodwinking yourself that you are manufacturing. We don’t want to hear assembling but rather fabricating and then manufacturing. We must fabricate and then manufacture.”
Tondeka buses were set to start operations with 400 buses initially plying different routes to-and-from city suburbs.
The buses will initially ply Kampala-Mukono on Jinja Road, Kampala- Nsangi on Masaka Road, Kampala- Buloba on Mityana Road, Kampala- Wakiso on Hoima Road , Kampala-Matugga on Bombo Road; Kampala – Entebbe and Kampala- Ggaba.
The buses are expected to help in decongesting the city by replacing taxis and boda bodas.