- Cash Crunch on the Road: The High Price of Keeping Buses Rolling
- Bumpy Ride for Bus Operators: A Closer Look at the Wallet-Wrenching Costs
- Uganda’s Bus Dilemma: Sinking in Costs While Trying to Keep the Wheels Turning
Passengers pouring in and out of buses – it’s a daily dance at the Link Bus Terminal in Kampala. The hustle and bustle of this transportation hub might seem like an ordinary affair, but behind the scenes, there’s a financial struggle that’s anything but ordinary.
In the Battle of the Buses:
Uganda’s bus industry, a lifeline for affordable and efficient travel, faces an uphill financial battle. This isn’t just about moving people from point A to B; it’s a service-oriented business that demands significant financial sacrifices.
Driving Through Dollars:
The Uganda Bus Owners Association (Uboa) reveals a staggering statistic – around 690 buses are navigating the country’s roads. But what’s the price tag attached to keeping these wheels spinning? It’s a multi-million-dollar challenge, and that’s no exaggeration.
Breaking Down the Bills:
Hold onto your hats – a brand-new bus costs a jaw-dropping $140,000, taxes included! And how do these bus operators manage to afford these pricey rides? Bank loans, but watch out for those interest rates – they can bite.
Ever wondered about the cost of departure? Each time a bus rolls out of a privately-owned terminal, there’s a fee – a hefty Shs50,000. Now, picture this: if all 690 buses hit the road every single day, terminal owners are pocketing a cool Shs34.5 million. Ka-ching!
Fueling the Fire:
Meet Mr. Robert Mutebi, the man behind the wheels of Jussy Bus Company. His route? Kampala to Kabale. The price he pays for a round-trip? A jaw-dropping Shs1.2 million to Shs1.5 million in fuel costs alone.
It’s not just about gas – there are salaries to sort. Permanent staff on each bus – conductor, driver, and tonboy/man – each raking in about Shs300,000 per month. And don’t forget the daily allowance of Shs20,000. But that’s not all – there’s more personnel along the way, adding to the bill.
Mr. Ibrahim Bbosa Kibuuka, the Assistant Commissioner of Public and Corporate Affairs at Uganda Revenue Authority, spills the beans on bus taxes. There are three fees on the menu: park user fees (collected by KCCA), Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) license fees (collected by the Ministry of Works and Transport), and Advance Income Tax (about Shs20,000 per seat per year).
Stranded in Financial Chaos?
The ongoing bus strike could shake things up further. With the wheels halted, park user fees could take a hit – a financial twist in an already complicated journey.
From fuel to staff salaries, taxes, and terminal tolls, the bus business is no smooth ride. It’s a financial maze that operators must navigate daily, keeping the wheels turning despite the uphill struggle.