Kampala paid on-street parking in the central area
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Brief summary of this reform
The Central Division of Kampala has paid on-street parking via contract with a private parking management company. This started via attendants and pay-and-display parking meters but today the main payment method is to pay via mobile money services based on a receipt issued by a parking attendant.
Why should you care?
Despite some significant difficulties and problems, this seems to be a relatively successful implementation of on-street parking management, including fee collection, in a low-income country context.
It highlights that establishing such parking management is challenging but also rewarding.
Key actor type
orderly parking (usually for wider benefits too)
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the private company, Multiplex
Is it a model or a warning?
Main parking category
Main parking paradigm shift
On-street in mainly commercial streets
Helpful for park-once-and-walk approach
Adaptive Parking thrust
P: Price parking in the right ways and with the right rates for each place and time
Goals of the reform
Both orderly parking and revenue for the city seem to be the key goals of the paid on-street parking system.
Impetus (what problem, campaign, opportunity or event prompted action?)
GIZ-SUTP suggests that paid parking commenced as part of a set of 1997 reforms to improve service delivery in the city generally.
Detailed description of the reform
The Central Division of Kampala has paid on-street parking via contract with a private parking management company handling both payments and enforcement in the paid parking area.
This started via attendants and pay-and-display parking meters. Today the main payment method is to pay via any one of several mobile money services based on a receipt issued by a parking attendant.
The first contract was awarded in 1997 after competitive tendering to Green Boat Entertainment, with UGX70 million to go to the city council and any remaining revenue after costs staying with the company as profit (GIZ SUTP, 2010).
In 2003, Multiplex won the contract with payments of UGX80 million per month to the city council. Multiplex was again awarded the contract that started in 2010 and again (controversially) from 2020, when some city officials declared a high level of satisfaction with Multiplex but with others pointing to various lapses (Daily Monitor, 2019). Multiplex has also faced complaints about overzealous enforcement at times and its street employees went on strike in 2017 over pay and conditions. In 2012, there was a failed court challenge to the legality of on-street parking fees by the City (Daily Monitor, 2012).
The parking fees were dramatically increased in 2017. This resulted in changes to the contract between KCCA and Multiplex, which had been paying UGX140 million per month and would then pay UGX337 million (about USD90,000) per month. [1USD = 3,638 Ugandan Shillings as of April 2021]
Results or impacts
I have not see any formal evaluation of the results of this paid parking system and would welcome more information.
GIZ-SUTP (2010) includes a case study on this that suggests significantly improved parking availability and success with reducing all-day parking in prime locations. SUTP also reported that the revenue for the city has been a major benefit.
Sources and acknowledgements
GIZ SUTP (2010) SUTP Module 2c – Parking Management,
Daily Monitor (December 05 2012) Multiplex wins parking case,
Blanshe Musinguzi (29 Aug 2017) KCCA: New Parking Fees Will Discourage Long-Stay Parking,
Uganda Business News (August 28, 2017) KCCA hikes parking fees,
Daily Monitor (March 21 2019) KCCA extends Multiplex street parking contract,
Namanya Elias Makuka (February 15, 2021) How to Pay for Your Street Parking Ticket Using Mobile Money in Uganda,
Image credit: "not not phil" from SF, CA, US, CC BY-SA 2.0 < via Wikimedia Commons
13 Apr 2021