New fuel tax pushes fares up

Kampala.Public transporters operating passenger service vehicles yesterday hiked the transport fares in response to the increment of fuel prices following an introduction of a new tax on the product.

Starting July 1, government put in force the collection of an extra Shs100 charge on every litre of fuel at the pump.

At different fuel stations, a litre of diesel, which is used by many of the buses is now between Shs3,900 and Shs4,000 and petrol costs between Shs4,150 and Shs4,220.

The new fares announced yesterday after a meeting of the executive committee of the United Bus Owners Association (UBOA) at their offices in Kampala, will see a uniform increment of Shs5,000 for those travelling from Kampala to all destinations across the country.

The meeting resolved that the increment takes effect on July 9.
The UBOA chairperson, Mr Nathan Byanyima, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the increment was made to ensure that bus operators do not lose income to the latest increment on fuel prices besides other expenses such as servicing the buses.

“Bus owners and operators cannot manage to keep the transport fares normal because they have started feeling the pinch of the increment on fuel prices. We hope that the customers will bear with us,” he said.

UBOA brings together owners of 80 bus companies which operate about 1,100 buses plying the different routes daily.

For the western routes, those going to Bwera will part with Shs35,000 from the previous Shs30,000, transport to Kasese town has remained at Shs30,000, Fort Portal Shs25,000, Bundibugyo Shs30,000, Hoima Shs15,000, Masindi Shs13,000 and Butyaba Shs20,000.

On the South Western route, transport from Kampala to Kisoro is now at Shs40,000 from Shs35,000, Kabale is Shs30,000 from Shs25,000, Mbarara has increased to Shs20,000 from Shs15,000 and Bushenyi-Ishaka to Shs25,000.

Passengers travelling to the eastern districts of Kaabong have seen their fare increased from Shs55,000 to Shs60000, Kotido is now Shs50,000, Abim Shs40,000, Tororo Shs20,000, Soroti Shs25,000, Serere Shs30,000 and Mbale Shs30,000.

For northern Uganda and West Nile routes, transport to Lira is now Shs35,000, Moyo Shs40,000, Arua Shs25,000, Yumbe Shs45,000 and Gulu Shs25,000.

Other challenges
The general secretary of UBOA, Mr Robert Mutebi, said bus companies have been fair to the public by not hiking the fares even when the cost of spares, tyres, licensing services, among others, have been going up.

“It was difficult to revise our fares upwards because of these increments on spare parts, tyres, Value Added Tax and licence fees because the passengers who are our prime clients could not understand.

But now, here is the issue of the fuel and everyone can go and see the prices at the service stations,” he said.

The director of Link Bus services, Mr Solomon Nsimire, said as service provides it has been three years since they last uniformly revised the transport fares.

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