Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) has signed a trust with safe boda ride and Easy Matatu to enable travelers to purchase train tickets online and also offer first and last-mile transport services.
The new partnership will see train commuters purchase tickets using the ride-hailing company’s platform and taxi platform to book rides to and from the train stations.
“This partnership is aimed at offering our passengers the much-needed first and last mile to and from our train at specified terminals including, Kampala Station, Namboole and Namanve using Easy Matatu and Safe Boda services. The Corporation’s overall objective is to make rail the preferred freight and passenger service provider in Uganda and beyond, and thus, this initiative and more to come feed into this objective,” said Jesca Bakabazira, the acting Chief Commercial Officer for Uganda Railways Corporation.
Bakabazira,explained that this will initially be a pilot that will be used for benchmarking for further cooperation to drive the railway agenda.
She also revealed that their plan is to extend passenger services to other areas including Mukono, Kyengera and Portbell to provide mass transport services to the public.
“This will involve the construction of concrete sleeper lines to those areas and the procurement of Diesel Multiple Units (DMUs). We shall also have more coaches procured to serve these areas,”Bakazibazira noted.
She said first phase of the expansion project will start in April this year with the construction of the Kampala to Mukono line.
The Country Director for SafeBoda Uganda, Catherine Tulina Kafumbe said that they will be providing a payment system through which passengers will be able to purchase train tickets but also provide transport services.
“This initiative is aimed at improving ease and convenience while purchasing train tickets in order to shorten queues at the railway stations. Complementing these efforts, SafeBoda has positioned riders near the train stations to ease passengers’ access to transportation to and from their various destinations,”Kafumbe said.
Easy Matatu CEO, Andrew Lema said that the partnership highlights the role of using digital platforms to improve the transport sector.
“Redefining public transport is at the heart of Easy Matatu’s mission and this partnership will allow us to do that. This partnership will create a template for other ecosystem players to collaboratively improve Uganda’s transportation system to further foster economic growth through access to affordable and reliable transportation and job creation,”Lema said.
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