Before Jennifer Musisi’s KCCA forced Entebbe Road taxis into USAFI Market from the Old Taxi Park early this year, the market was not as busy as it is now to the extent that vendors could be counted on ones finger tips. Today, they are like bees, swarming at every taxi that parks with different products from bread to fruits and women’s handbags.
At first, passengers used to complain, even violently, about the long distance and thugs at different spots along the route from the Old Taxi Park to USAFI. The situation now is calm as passengers have either gotten used to the situation or devised other means to get back home from the city.
“I found moving to USAFI from Dewinton Road where I work quite hectic. I now board from the railway station, which is also not allowed by KCCA, but somehow I get individual who either give me a life or charge me for it,” says Aisha Najjuma who works in a restaurant near the Parliamentary Building.
“I used to spend Ush 3,700 a day on transport but now I spend Shs 4500. I am sure other people have also found alternative means home, especially those who live in places like Kibuye, Najjanankumbi, Namasuba, Zzana and beyond” Najjuma adds.
Charles Mugerwa, a resident of Bukasa- Muyenga and a businessman had decided to start using boda-boda (passenger motorcycles) after his taxis were relocated to Usafi, but when he assessed himself and his income he realized he could not afford that option.
“With boda-bodas my expenditure increased by Shs 3000 and my savings decreased by that very amount on a daily basis. This left me with no other alternative but to walk the long and tiring distance to USAFI to board the taxis. I am now used to it, Mugerwa says.
Mugerwa is among the people making USAFI vendors and taxi drivers smile today. As some people keep grumbling, business here keeps growing.
“Moving to this park affected us indeed as we were looking for passengers to transport and they were nowhere to be seen. But as time went on, people started coming slowly by slowly and now things are getting better and better almost every day,” says George Yiga, a taxi conductor in USAFI Taxi Park.”
Though they are still not happy with Jennifer, many of the passengers have decided to save themselves the stress of grumbling over something that is not likely to change.