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Transportation in the Big City

Considering that in this world Uganda is the 81st largest country by area, and is 36th largest in people, it would seem obvious that over population is a weighty problem. A recent census revealed that current residences number 45.5 million, and is predicted to rise to 101 million by 2050. Those numbers are somewhat alarming, but you don’t need to tell the folks on the street in Kampala, the capital city, it’s crowded. Just try getting around and see where it gets you.

Basic transportation around this city of 1.5 million (as of 2016) includes private car, private car hire, matatu, and boda boda. Those who have little money for transport, about ¾ of the folks, end up on a matatu, which is a van licensed to carry 14 people who get off and on along the way, and a boda boda. The second option is a motorcycle with a world class driver you sit behind. The boda is designed to weave through stuck traffic and cut your travel time to minutes in leu of hours. The extra money it costs to ride a motorcycle is well spent if you care anything about time.

The jams in the city are overwhelming. You can easily spend a portion of your day when undertaking what should have been a 30-minute car jaunt. People actually sit motionless in their vehicles for hours until the traffic thins out. As for the matatu, it wasn’t but a day or two ago when an aged van had a serious situation, and the back door flew open with the back seat ending up on the street; three people included. The boda boda is fast, but remember, you are taking a huge risk. Motorcycle accidents are common and it is dead easy to lose a leg or an arm or a head.

Then again, most of these drivers qualify as some of the best in the world. When attempting to ease through congestions that have no equal, it takes a steady hand and a sharp mind. It’s quite the shocker to see a racing matatu coming straight for you and then having it pull over in the nick of time. Such vehicles usually have something about God written on the back window. Once musing about those inscriptions, It all begins to make sense.

People actually sit motionless in their vehicles for hours until the traffic thins out.

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