The Kampala-Entebbe Expressway has so far brought in Shs17.2 billion for the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) during the past six months.
In announcing a partnership with MTN Uganda to offer toll charge payment solutions along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway for road users, UNRA executive director Allen Kagina made this revelation on Friday.
According to Kagina, “This money is transferred by the Cash in Transit Company on a daily basis and placed onto the Government Account for Proper accountability.”
An Independent Traffic Monitoring System that UNRA established allows them to reconcile all monies collected with the volume of traffic that has passed through each lane.
Allen Kagina making a speech
After reconciliation with the tolling system, wherein the operator is responsible for covering all differences in the event of any misclassification or procedural violation, Kagina said, “this fosters confidence.”
She claims that compared to the anticipated daily traffic of 16,000 vehicles, the average daily traffic volume seen at the three toll plazas is 20,166 vehicles.
Since other telecommunications firms have been involved, she predicted that more network-enabled loading options will be made available soon.
UNRA on behalf of the Government of Uganda entered into a contract with Egis Road Operation on 14th May 2021, to Operate and Maintain the Kampala—Entebbe Expressway.
Among the services offered in this contract include: Incident management, Route Patrols, Axle load control and Toll Operations.
Tolling operations commenced on 8th January 2022, and it has now been operational for the past six months.
Previous schemes included only cash at the point of sale (Loading on NFC cards) and Tollbooth for payment of toll fees by road users.
The NFC cards include the monthly with a 70% discount, weekly card with a 50% discount and Easy pass card with a 10% discount.
According to Kagina, this arrangement has been causing unnecessary inconvenience when the Point of sales is closed (during the weekend and past working hours).
The Operator is mandated to provide remote payment options for the UPESI cards such as the use of Mobile Money and Bank transfers.
“We have now partnered with MTN Uganda, Airtel and Stanbic Flexipay introducing remote card top-ups for the NFC cards easing the process of cards top-ups for road users which previously required the road users to top-up from the point of sales at each toll plaza,” Kagina revealed.
She said this new development will enable their clients to top up their cards in the comfort of their homes or workplaces thereby enabling customer satisfaction while using the Kampala—Entebbe Expressway.
A fee of different amounts is levied at the toll gates and access is granted to the different classes of motor vehicles and motorbikes.
“The partnership between MTN Mobile Money and UNRA will facilitate safe and convenient fee top-ups on the upesi card that allows motorists to access passage on the Entebbe Express highway,” said Richard Yego, Managing Director – MTN Mobile Money Uganda Limited.
All one needs is to log into the MoMo app or use USSD to top up their Upesi card.
“This update will not only ease the Upesi card recharge exercise but also make it convenient and easy for the road users to reload their Upesi cards from any place and not come to our points of sale which was hectic for them,” said Mr. Yavuz Cagatay, General Manager Egis Group.
The top-up can be done via the MTN MoMo app and via USSD by dialing *165*4*5*6# and following prompts.
This is how you can top up via USSD
Subscriber dials the USSD Short Code (*165*4*5*6#)
Selects Card type
Enter Card number.
Confirm and proceed
How to top up through the MoMo App.
Log into the MoMo App
Select Pay bill
Fees and Taxes
Lighting poles and Cables have been delivered on-site (at the three Toll plazas). The Lighting Lamps are being cleared by URA and will soon be delivered on-site.
The setting out of all the lighting pole locations was completed. Sub-station base construction works were also completed.
Medium Voltage light works for the expressway lighting was also completed and have already been connected to the Umeme network.
Laying of cables and installation of lights will commence upon delivery of the Lighting Lamps.
Road Safety Facilities
UNRA alongside the Operator has undertaken a Road Safety Campaign, in which the road users of the Expressway are educated on the dos and don’ts along the Expressway.
Some of the messages delivered to the road users include keeping left unless overtaking and driving within the allowable speed limit of a maximum of 100km/hour on the Expressway.
Tollbooth protections were also put in place to safeguard the toll booth operators from any incidents that could arise from the incoming traffic approaching the plaza to make payments for passage.
There are sections of the Expressway where the chain-link has been vandalized and efforts to ensure that the Expressway is fully fenced are in the advanced stage.