Kampala Paratransit Project
The Kampala Old Taxi Park
In big African cities like Kampala, Addis, Accra, and Dakar, the “paratransit” services are responsible for the majority of public transport ridership, accounting for 70 to 100% of all transit rides. Paratransit owes its massive popularity to its flexibility, its middle-class affordability and its near-ubiquitous coverage.
Yet, despite this popularity, information on stop locations, route frequencies are at best estimated by riders and sometimes complete guesswork. This lack of information is a challenge not only for riders but for city planners looking to expand public transport that accommodates everyone. The data necessary to include paratransit in formal planning is simply not there – yet. Subsequently, although these paratransit operators provide a much-needed service to public at virtually no direct cost to the city, they also bring a host of challenges to our city. Paratransit vehicles are a leading cause of traffic congestion, change route to destination, they can be unpredictable in price and service, and are occasionally unsafe.
Taxi on a route from the old taxi park
MapUganda has partnered with Transport For Cairo on mapping of the major transport routes, taxi/bus stops, stages and frequency counts involving taxis and bus rapid transit; which would provide safe, equitable, and efficient transport options. This data is for the benefit of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Ministry of Works and Transport (MWT) to support them in planning better transportation systems and urban renewable ultimately improving quality of life in the city.
The French Development Agency through the Transport for Cairo is also supporting Map Uganda’s efforts to aggressively map the major transport network system used by taxis in the greater Metropolitan area to develop a master plan for the Kampala Transport Network that can guide in formalizing the transport network for effectivity and safety.
A team of 20 experienced field researchers from different disciplines are already set out in the field to map the capital’s Taxi and minibus network. The team is equipped with smartphones having customized applications to collect GPS data traces by riding on the Para Transit bus/Taxi services and recording the GPS tracks of the routes these buses follow.
an assignment taken by a field survey on a taxi from the Old Taxi Park to Nakawa Taxi park with the details of the trip generated by the application
The phase 1 of the project has been running from January 2020 and should be completed mid-March. Our Surveyors have been executing frequency counts at each taxi stage to determine the rate of occupancy of the taxis per one hour and how the taxis take off from the park from each given route.
Important information captured by the application during the frequency assignment
MapUganda Field Researcher at Nateete Taxi park carrying out a frequency count of the taxis at a stage
We anticipate to have route maps in the near future that will enable public to access the stages and also plan their journeys with knowledge of the start and end point of the desired route.
Draft of final map that will be published showing the stop locations, stages and information on frequencies
Information on stop locations and frequency of routes will be availed and published on the map. The maps created can be an opportunity to enhance and give visibility to the extent of paratransit service.
The stop locations on the route already covered and the geographical extent of this project
The project aims to:
- Identify informal and formal stages in order for City authorities to make needful improvement
- Publish data on OSM
- Reflect defined route
- Detect highly popular drop off points which will be identified evidently reflecting where they is a need for attention in expansion of transport.
- The data shall be handed over to the Ministry of Work in order to facilitate on expansion of public transport networks alongside KCCA for a better Kampala
The collected information may also be best substantiated with the population data to establish a relationship between the current population status quo and the transport system within the area.
Information of how long a particular paratransit service takes to reach a certain destination will also be availed to the public and such information may be very useful in planning of schedules and also addition of new paratransit services to supplement the current available services.