The Kampala – Entebbe Expressway is a four-lane toll expressway linking Entebbe International Airport to Kampala, the country’s capital city.
This toll road was constructed with the objective to provide an efficient mass transit route between two vital cities (Entebbe and Kampala) and decongest Kampala.
On the 24th of May 2021, Egis Road Operation was awarded a contract by Uganda National Roads Authority to operate and maintain the first Expressway in Uganda and East Africa.
Egis, which marked its first anniversary last month, operates and maintains 26.2KM of the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway, collects toll fees on behalf of the government of Uganda and provides high-quality road management which enables value-added services to the road users.
Egis Public Relations Manager, Ms. Joy Nabasa, talked to us about the Kampala Entebbe Expressway project and what Ugandans should brace for in the near future.
Tell us about Egis group?
Egis is an international group in engineering and mobility services with the objective of creating a sustainable future across every aspect of infrastructure consulting, engineering and operation. We have evolved over the last 90 years offering building and infrastructure engineering as well as transport. Egis is established in over 100 countries in the Middle East, India, Latin America, Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
We partner with institutions, persons and government in driving our objectives. We also work with local partners to demonstrate our capacity to structure a comprehensive operation and maintenance offer and commit to it.
Particularly in Uganda, Egis has over 300 employees with only 3 expatriates who are there to transfer technical knowledge to Ugandans. This has improved livelihoods and expanded the knowledge base of Ugandans. We have also partnered with local companies like Pinnacle Security and Abubaker Technical Services in the execution of expressway operations.
What have you accomplished so far?
First of all, we are so grateful for the successful launch of the tolling operations in January. An event that was officiated by the Minister of Transport and Works, General Katumba Wamala. That for us was the beginning of us pursuing our main purpose on the Kampala Entebbe Expressway.
Our second achievement, for which we are equally grateful, is the general community of clients who have embraced the tolling experience with one heart. In less than 3 months since launching toll operations on the Kampala Entebbe Expressway, we managed to see a huge increase in the number of unique passages on the expressway. Ugandans showed resilient support for the act of tolling which enables citizens to enjoy world-class service at a minimal fee.
Since toll collection commencement in January, we have been able to collect thirteen billion Uganda shillings (13 billion) on the Kampala – Entebbe Expressway. Averagely, we receive twenty thousand (20,000) passages per day on all the toll plazas, way above our targets.
Lastly, we also came up with a unique prepaid solution for our frequent customers who use the expressway. We launched the Upesi card which allows road users to preload their accounts and just swipe at the different tolls on the expressway. The Upesi cards have different discounts which favor the expressway way road users.
Tell us more about the Upesi card. Why and where should I get it?
A Upesi card is, first and foremost, a convenient tool for road users who do not want to spend time exchanging money at the toll booths. I’m happy to report that many road users have embraced this and we have over nine thousand five hundred (9,500) Upesi cards purchased and used by road users since the commencement of the toll fees collections.
The Upesi card enables the holder to enjoy fast convenience service with just a swipe at the toll gates which takes only five (5) seconds and you exit. Secondly, the Upesi cardholder enjoys convenience at a great discount compared to the customers paying cash.
We have three Upesi card options with three different discount percentages:
The first one is the Easy Pass with 10% discount per passage and one card can be used by very many vehicles provided there are enough funds loaded on this card.
The second one is the Weekly Pass with up to 50% discount per passage valid for seven (7) days. This card is used by frequent road users and it comes with 14 trips.
The last one is the Monthly Pass with up to 70% discount per passage valid for 30 days. This comes with 60 trips and is also used by frequent road users.
Our Upesi cards are readily available at our three toll stations in Busega, Kajjansi and Mpala. We are working on more methods that will ensure our customers transact with us conveniently and affordably.
How is Egis promoting road safety on the expressway?
Thanks for that pertinent question. We are doing a number of initiatives to drive road safety along the expressway. Firstly, we have been sharing road safety messages with our social media community in a bid to drive awareness of how expressways are used. We launched this campaign at the beginning of the year and got some good results from this.
Key tips along the expressway revolve around; driving within the speed limit, keeping left unless overtaking, avoiding driving under the influence of alcohol, and keeping an appropriate distance between vehicles and others that we have been making the public aware of.
Our second initiative on road safety aside from the sensitization campaign is the toll-free emergency line 0800270170, which can be used by our customers at all times of the day and we will be able to assist them. This number has been used by expressway road users who have had car breakdowns on the road, accidents and others who call for other inquiries like Upesi card options and the different services we provide on the expressway.
We are also currently working on the lighting along the expressway which will enhance its security and safety for road users. We are working on an ambitious project which will see the road fully lit by the end of the year.
Lastly, what should Ugandans look forward to in the near future from Egis Road Operation?
Ugandans should know that operating and maintaining Kampala–Entebbe expressway is the first of many infrastructure developments of Egis in this country. We look forward to providing better service delivery, creating more job opportunities for Ugandans to learn and acquiring more skills and knowledge on more projects we are yet to embark on here in Uganda. As Egis Road Operation Uganda, we are here to build a smarter and sustainable future for Ugandans.