In Uganda’s capital and largest city of Kampala, over 1.5 million residents travel primarily using informal matatus (15-seat mini-buses) and boda-bodas (motorbike taxis) that lack set routes, schedules, or standardized fares. Pick-up and drop-off points shift sporadically, riders face long, unpredictable wait times in sweltering heat or heavy rain, and fares fluctuate as much as 100%. With the surrounding urban areas of Kampala continuing to grow at a fast pace, congestion is a huge problem. The Government of Uganda is therefore interested in streamlining urban mobility and has chosen Tondeka Metro Company (TMC) to take the reins. TMC has chosen Optibus, the AI cloud-native solution for mass transport planning, scheduling, rostering, and operations, and SCINTL, a Ugandan IT company, to partner on creating a mass transportation operations solution for the first public bus network in Kampala, Uganda.

“Millions of Ugandans will finally have access to the safe, reliable public transportation they deserve, powered by the market’s most sophisticated software solution. Optibus is proud to support Kampala in becoming a model city for transportation infrastructure” –Amos Haggiag, CEO, and co-founder of Optibus

To bring reliable, modern public transportation to Kampala, TMC will develop and operate the city’s first formal bus fleet. Starting with 1,030 buses, the fleet is set to grow to 3,000 buses, making it one of the largest fleets in Africa. Moreover, the fleet will be 100% electric by 2032. Additionally, the entire project will be delivered locally, including bus manufacturing, creating more than 12,000 jobs in the next three years. So, not only will the project help the economy by increasing work, but it will also significantly decongest Kampala of vehicle traffic, improve air quality, and reduce safety incidents.

Combining software

The technology solution for operating and optimizing the fleet combines Optibus’ software platform with SCINTL’s IT infrastructure. TMC will use Optibus’ software platform to plan all routes and timetables in the bus network from scratch, optimize resource allocation and electric buses, and manage daily operations in real-time.

The project is sponsored by the World Bank and driven by a presidential initiative to boost economic growth and improve public transportation infrastructure. It is supported by five government ministries, including Uganda’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Kampala, and local government authorities