The Government has collected sh 2.5 billion in the first month of tolling the Kampala-Entebbe expressway. This is according to the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
The tolling exercise commenced on January 8, 2022.
Stephen Kitenga, the head of Communications at UNRA said that of this, one billion Shillings was collected in the first week of tolling at the three gates located in Mpala, Busega, and Kajjansi.
The money came from over 160,000 passages.
Motorists pay between shs 3,000 to shs 18,000 Shillings per trip on the expressway, which connects from Kampala Northern Bypass at Busega and joins the old Entebbe Road at Mpala.
The collection will be used to repay the 350 million USD loan acquired from the Exim Bank of China to construct the 51.4-kilometer expressway.
According to the loan agreement, the repayment schedule runs from July 21, 2019, to January 21, 2032.
In the 13-year repayment period, the government plans to pay 26.8 million US Dollars (about Shs 95 billion Shillings) every year.
This means that the government should collect at least Sh7.8 billion per month to meet the loan obligation.
Allan Ssempebwa, a communications officer at UNRA explains that an average of 20,000 passages are made every day through the three toll gates on the expressway, up from the projected daily average of 13,000 passages.
These include incoming and outgoing air passengers, taxi operators, visitors and Entebbe residents.
“We are happy that motorists are using the expressway and that the actual daily passages have so far surpassed our projections which at the time were made before toll fees were arrived at. We hope that the numbers grow even higher because we will use the toll collections to repay the loan for constructing the road and also for its operations and maintenance,” noted Ssempebwa.
Ssempebwa is optimistic that the collections will increase when streetlights are installed on the expressway. “We want to ensure road user satisfaction on the expressway so on top of security patrols, free towing services, we are going to address the issue of darkness along the road by installing streetlights latest April this year.”
Ivan Ruyonga, a taxi operator and a member of Fly Express Travelers Uganda Ltd, says he has been paying weekly because payment per passage is expensive.
He makes an average of three round trips daily from Busega to Entebbe.
Another motorist, Haruna Kakooza who usually makes one round trip between Busega to Kajjansi, says he will stick to weekly payments until he records an increase in the number of passengers boarding from the Busega stage.
He is however optimistic that more people will use the expressway when lights are installed since curfew has been lifted.
Taxis charge passengers between Sh 5,000 and Sh 8,000 to cater for the road toll of sh 5,000 per passage.
The taxis ply Entebbe-Kalerwa, Busega-Kajjansi, Busega -Entebbe and Entebbe-Kampala central business District routes.
The trips take between 30 minutes to an hour compared to those taxis that ply the old Entebbe-Kampala road that take close to two hours due to traffic jams around Lweza, Seguku and Kibuye roundabout among other sections during peak hours.