Taxi operators at the airport have cried out about the effect of the new Covid-19 measures on their pockets.
According to them, the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health have limited on the number of clients they get per day which is relative to their earnings from their customers in the recent past.
Unlike in the past when airport taxis took clients to their respective destinations, currently, clients are expected to first undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test at Peniel Beach hotel that is less than two kilometers from the airport.
After which many of those tested seek alternative means to go home usually from friends and family instead of the previous custom where the airport taxi drivers were entrusted with the duty to take them to their destinations.
Due to this, the tradesmen under their umbrella body Airport Taxi Services Cooperation Society Ltd Chairperson Jackson Sserubidde have come out to point at the testing center as the major challenge to the smooth flow of their business.
“When the majority of the travelers are taken for testing, our drivers have to fight with special hire drivers. Most times, our drivers fail to get clients at the centre,” said the umbrella body Chairperson.
While providing statistics he saids out of the 240 airport taxi operators, only 108 are still in business yet still less than twenty are in position to get at least one arriving passenger per day.
The airport operators have therefore been forced to adjust to new means of survival as they vacated from the airport and now stage at Peniel Beach hotel to capture the clients coming from testing.
However, this has grabbed the initial dominance they enjoyed at the airport since they currently have to compete with special hire drivers, boda riders and privately driven cars for customers.
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This hasn’t helped their case though as basing on Amos Mulindwa, an airport taxi driver, many of the travellers disagree with their price set at UGX 250,000 saying it is too high as they wasn’t to be driven at UGX 50,000. This shall only drive losses to taxi operators from the airport as they’ve to incurr costs of a two way journey in between Kampala and Entebbe.
Most airport based taxi drivers have been forced out of business since they have few clients and also the increasing competition from special hire drivers and boda boda riders is further stealing the already tiny market.