By Amina Nabuule
The Kampala Capital City Authority has on Friday evening revealed that the renovated Old Taxi Park will be reopened on May, 22 after being closed for more than a year.
According to a statement released by KCCA authorities seen by The Homeland Newspaper, most of the work is almost done, they are yet to finalize with the installation of an access control system, putting down illegal structures, engaging taxi operators and their leadership on the park governance and route stages; labeling of stages and a dry run to test the operational readiness of the park’s systems.
“Having been in existence for over 50 years, the Covid-19 outbreak, presented an opportunity to work on the park carpet area and immediate surrounding without interference from taxis that had been grounded due to a nationwide lockdown. On May 7, 2020, KCCA embarked on the works that involved drainage improvements, parking area and embankment construction and beautification of the park,” KCCA said.
“We are pleased to announce that KCCA has now substantially completed construction works and set to open for full operation.”
The statement further reads, KCCA, wants to ensure this time the old taxi park is managed better than it was before, adding that this is part of their efforts to ensure a “smart city.”
This is the umpteenth time that KCCA is extending the reopening of the park.
The park was closed in May last year and according to KCCA then, it was only to take three months for the renovation but the opening date has been extended on several occasions.
The oldest taxi park in Uganda’s capital has for long been in a dire state but efforts to renovate it have always been frustrated by taxi operators who argued that they had not been consulted.
Two years ago, KCCA announced they had got a shs4.3 billion grant from the Netherlands government to renovate the old taxi park.
In 2018, KCCA said the new face of the facility will see a multi-level parking building in Old Taxi Park but this has not been the case with the renovated taxi park.
Taxi drivers have also complained of losing parking space as was the case with the works in the new taxi park.
The renovation of the new taxi park a few years ago saw taxi drivers left with only 40 percent of the space they had previously occupied.