Hullabaloo over public transport

Panic over installing speed governors has halted operations in public transport across the country. The result has not only been increase in fares but also scarcity of matatu’s (taxis). Actually, this in my view is turning into a national crisis as one newspaper has gone to the extent of running a SMS media feedback analysis to get public views on the matter with a topic “do you think the current hike in transport charges by taxi operators around the city is acceptable?” One respondent responded that “those UTODA taxi men are financial parasites who charge any price according to the whims of the taxi conductors. And remember that even when just USh 100 is missing from your fare they will be thrown out of most taxis.” I would not disagree less with this person. Today I got an experience of my own. Put yourself in a situation where you wakeup at 6:00Am in the morning, get to the stage say 7:00Am and wait for a taxi for 45 Minutes. Now not only do you fight for a seat but your fare is hiked by 50% of the amount you are supposed to pay. Let’s say you are supposed to pay Ush.500 and the taxis charges you Ush.1, 000.

Usually I board a boda to the really main road, but this time around I decided to board those taxis that do not reach town to drop me to the main road. Whereas I got a taxi, I had to fight to get a seat. It made me wonder whether you need to have a lot of energy to participate in these fights for taxis. Just imagine you woke up early, not had breakfast and you have to fight for taxi to take you to work. The situation is even more amusing when they are kids going to school and women. The men use all the strength they have to secure themselves seats, leaving the women busy protecting their bags from being pick-pocketed. So you find yourself going through the same experience every morning and evening. Actually in the evening, I made a resolution ( I could take it as my new year’s resolution) that if by 6:00Pm am not at the taxi park, I either seek for a lift from colleagues heading my way home or hag around town until 9:00Pm when the Human Traffic has decreased in the park. I will only break this resolution when I get a car, so help me God.


5 Responses

  1. Oy Vay, Lillian. How frustrating! I do hope the situation is resolved soon. You sure have to put up w/ a lot, things that truthfully, I take for granted here. It snowed last week, which made the buses and trains particularly crowded. But people are more reserved here, and generally show respect for others when borading the trains, etc.. It’s not perfect, but it’s OK. Hope you’re well!

  2. I can give you a better solution…BUY YOUR OWN WHEELS!!! You’ve sung about getting your own wheels for so long i am beginning to think you enjoy this daily chaos with taxis. I am not sure what wheels you were talking about whether 4 wheels (car), two wheels (bicycle, scooter etc) or 1 wheel (wheelbarrow)…lol

  3. Sean, they are many things that happen here that you probably would not cope with. It quite amusing at the same time annoying when you fight for a taxi like you aint going to pay for it. Well that is our country, i hope things change. Otherwise all is well with me.

  4. Hey Jackie, i already have my wheels, “footusbitshi” hehe, i just need to need to upgrade to four wheels. lOl

  5. […] the past. But who cares, i guess no one. I have heard all sorts of ideas from people in our daily matatus/taxis I normally board, brainstom on strategies they will use this time to dodge the police and […]

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