Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - service quality, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys, land use - planning, economics - operating costs, organisation - competition, organisation - regulation, place - africa, place - urban, mode - bus


Vehicle operations, Urban transportation policy, Uganda, Transportation planning, Transit operators, Traffic safety, Surveys, Stakeholders, Service quality, Regulatory reform, Regulations, Recommendations, Quality of service, Passenger service quality, Organization, Operating costs, Markets, Intracity bus transportation, Interviewing, Improvements, Funding, Financing, Driver training, Costs, Cost of operation, Competition, Bus transit, Behind the wheel instruction


Research has shown that there are very large differences in the availability and costs of transport between Africa and Asia. Africa is at a considerable disadvantage in all respects. Development funds to date have been almost exclusively used for infrastructure, yet there is huge potential for cost savings from an improvement in vehicle efficiency. The provision of transport services has been left to the market, but the market has not been working effectively. High transport costs and unreliable service provision have a significant impact on industry and on the mobility of people. The results of research carried out on urban transport services in Uganda are described. To understand the transport market and its operations, bus surveys and interviews were carried out with the main stakeholders in the capital city and two rural towns. The major problems faced by transport operators are identified, and their impact on vehicle operating costs is analyzed. Also examined are transport regulations and the current organization of transport services and their impact on vehicle utilization. The key areas highlighted for concern include anticompetitive practices by the associations that control service provision and absence of transport planning and regulation. Finally, recommendations to improve vehicle operations are made. These range from long-term policy and institutional reforms (including legislative changes, vehicle import regulation, and setting up of a transport regulator body and private-public partnership arrangements) to shorter-term initiatives addressing issues such as vehicle financing, driver training, and safety.