Lira: New regulations for buses, taxis as public transport resumes today

Lira Mayor Ogwang Olwa Veve and Lira Town Clerk [standing] addressing Lira media last week. File photo.

Lira—4, June 2020: Lira Municipality task force has announced stringent regulations to strengthen the existing measures announced by President Museveni as public transport resumes on Thursday [today].

Announcing the new measures for Lira on Wednesday evening at a press conference held at the office of Lira Municipal Mayor, Mr Mike Ogwang Olwa Veve, Town Clerk, Mr David Kyasanku said regulations followed a meeting of the Municipality task-force that sat on 26th May 2020.

The meeting according to Mr Kyasanku, was attended by, among others the Resident District Commissioner [RDC] Lira, Milton Odongo, Lt. Col Rutaaro who represented the UPDF, Traffic officers and leaders of the various divisions.

Another meeting, according to the Town Clerk, was held on Wednesday with different stakeholders including managers of different bus companies operating in Lira and at least six pregnant points were unleashed and agreed on.

1. All buses and taxis will load from strictly Lira Bus Park and Taxi Park and no bus or taxi will load outside the gazetted places.

This by implication means Kitgum stage, Uhuru Bar stage and Aduku stage are suspended, indefinitely.

2. The first bus leaves at 6:30am and the last one leaves at 12:30pm to allow it beat the curfew time of 7pm in Kampala.

3. Buses and Taxis will carry half of the passengers, it shall have only one driver and a bus attendant or a conductor in the case of a taxi

4. All passengers will have to sanitize / wash their hands and wear face masks

5. All buses to charge shillings 40,000 as transport fare to Kampala, no extra charges shall be allowed.

6.  There will be no collection of revenue at Lira bus and taxi parks during this Covid-19 situation.

7. No buses and Taxis will be allowed to leave Lira to travel to border districts.

The above were some of the new regulations read to the press by the Town Clerk who urged bus operators to adhere to what he called “business unusual and a new normal”

He was flanked by the Mayor, Mike Ogwang Olwa Veve who further clarified that Lira Municipal Council will also register all the bus owners, buses, taxis and all PSV vehicles as well as drivers.

Meanwhile, in other new measures announced Wednesday evening, produce and timber dealers are to be relocated to a new premise in Railways division with immediate effect.

The Mayor says the current produce lane has become dingy to allow social distancing, a measure highly touted by the Health Ministry in mitigating the spread of coronavirus. 

Second hand cloth sellers shall also be relocated from Lira Bus Park to Kamswahili market and the new Teobaya market behind UMEME offices.

The Ojwina division LC3 chairman, Mr Emmanuel Ebong Opeto has welcomed the new development and urged all the bus operators to comply with the new regulations. He warned that no bars or pool tables shall be allowed at Lira Bus Park.

Much as the Town Clerk says they are waiting for a route chart for Lira buses from the Ministry of Transport headquarters in Kampala, at least now we know that Otada bus is the first bus to leave early morning.

“Buses and taxis will not crowd at the bus park, they shall enter one at a time and night travels are strictly prohibited,” the town clerk disclosed.

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