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Transport in Kampala

Kampala is the capital city of Uganda with a population of 1.7 million people and an area of over 180 Sq km.  People have to move from their residential areas to their work places located in the city centre and industrial area. The common means of public transport within the city are as follows:

  • 14 seater commutter vans (Matatu)
  • Bodaboda
  • Special Hire

Matatu (Mini buses)
The Matatu/ (Kamunye) transport system covers all parts of the city and its surbubs. They are faster than and  carry only 14 passengers.  The matatus are organized according the routes of destination and therefore it is easy to be directed where to find the matatus if one knows the route of destination.

Each matatu has a conductor and a driver. The conductor invites passengers to the taxi and later collects the taxi fares from the passengers as they reach their destination. The passenger has to alert the conductor when he or she about to reach the place of destination so that the conductor can collect the fare and also alert the driver to find appropriate stopping place. There are no designated public transport stages.

Boda Bodas
Bodas Bodas (Motor Cycles) are common means of transport in Kampala and can reach places which cannot be easily reached using the other means. They are quite fast as the riders know how to go around the traffic jam. You only need to know that the bodaboda can ride dangerously on the street if you do not  caution the rider.

Special Hire Taxis
These are privately owned vehicles that transport people to different areas around Kampala and the suburbs. You can easily locate them in Kampala as they strategically park at the entrance of  public places.  The Special Hire Taxis have no defined routes but move accordingly to the customer’s instructions.   .

Railway
The people living along the railway to Mukono can travel by train although the train is not regular.

Ferry
There is a ferry from Port bell to Kalagala Island. The ferry can transport 150 passengers and their luggage. It makes two routes every day starting at Port Bell at 8.00am. There are also vessels to Kisumu City in Kenya and Mwanza in Tanzania.