Transport fares to all upcountry destinations have increased as the festive season draws close.
In most of the bus terminals and taxi parks visited by our reporters in Kampala, the transport fares have almost doubled to what was being charged prior to the festive season.
On the western route, companies such as Global Coaches are currently charging between Shillings 50,000 to 700000 Shillings to Mbarara up from Shillings 40,000.
Those heading to Fort portal and Bundibugyo have to fork out Shillings 65,000 shillings up from Shillings 35,000 shillings and those to the border district of Kasese are now parting with Shillings 80,000 from Shillings 65,000 previously.
The journey to Hoima and Masindi currently costs Shillings 50,000 while Gulu costs between Shillings 85,000 and 100,000.
Julius Baseke, a booking clerk at Pokopoko Bus Company, which plies the Kasese route, defends the hiked transport fares unlike many years where there are few travelers without return travelers yet they are already operating on half capacity.
The bus operators also argue that many people who travel for Christmas either travelled earlier with the partial lifting of the lockdown and a few others have been going in the past few weeks fearing that the government might impose another lockdown.
Meanwhile, taxis Drivers in Mbarara have not increased transport fares from Mbarara city plying to other districts.
This was revealed by the chairperson Mbarara united taxis operators Lukwago Jafari while speaking to our reporter at his office.
Lukwago said that as per now from Mbarara to Ishaka, Ntungamo, Lyantonde, Ibanda and Kiruhura they charge 15000/=.
Mbarara to Kabale its 20,000/=, Mbarara to Fort portal its 40,000/= Mbarara to Isingiro its 10,000/= Mbarara to Mitooma its 20,000/=.
Lukwago added that there is a possibility of increasing the fares especially on Christmas Eve where they expect an increased number of travelers.
Jafari also encouraged all passengers to use gazetted areas such as Taxis Park and Bus Park to avoid criminals from taking the advantage over them.