A day in life of a taxi driver

For seven years now, Rogers Batte, 32, has driven a commuter taxi. His main stage is Kyaliwajjala in Wakiso district. He says driving a commuter taxi is one of the most hectic activities as one has to navigate several challenges. From poor roads to uncompromising law enforcement officers to unruly commuters, it is one hell of a ride. He narrated to us what a typical day for him looks like.

Batte says he wakes up at exactly and proceeds to pick his taxi from the night parking space where he leaves it at the end of the daily shift.

“Whether it is raining heavily or not, I have to be at the stage by 5.30PM to begin the day’s shift,” he says.

At the stage, each taxi is allocated a number which determines the order of loading passengers.

“Sometimes this process of being allocated numbers is controversial because at out stage it is first come, first served but some people don’t want to follow order.

Batte charges Shs 3,000 for a ride from Kyaliwajjala to Kampala and his taxi fits 14 people excluding a conductor who collects the fare.

“Usually on a daily basis because there are many taxis on our stage, I make about five round trips,” he says.

While he is coy about how much money he makes a day, our rough calculations put his earning at at least Shs 150,0000 per day.

Batte says he does not own the taxi and has to pay a daily fee to the owner.

Youth Blitz understand that this fee ranges from Shs 70,000 to 100,000 depending on the mechanical conditions of the taxi.

He says the peak hours for them range from 6.00 am to 10.00 am in the morning and from 4.00 pm to 9pm in the evening.

“This is when people are going to work or retiring home after a long day so you are guaranteed some good money,” he says.

The nightmare hours are those between 11.00 am and 3.00pm when there are few people moving. Sometimes Batte says he is forced to park his vehicle during this period.

Batte retires at 10.00pm every day.


Batte says business would have been good but he has to overcome several challenges.

“Our biggest challenge are traffic police officers who stop you for no reason. Some extort money from us meaning that at the end of the day, you are left with nothing,” he says.

Then he says they have to contend with unruly customers who don’t want to pay at all or who want to pay less than the agreed fare.

“Some of these sit next to the door so when they open for them they just jump out and run. Since you can chase them, you just leave them,” he says.

Batte says sometimes the vehicle breaks down and spends more time in a garage than on the road. This makes him lose money.


Batte advises the youth not to despise any job. He says he studied up to certificate level and after looking for a job in vain, he settled for this one.

“There is no good or bad job. At the end of the day we all want to make ends meet and that is what matter,” he says.

He says young people must learn to be patient because nothing in life comes on a silver platter.

There are people who think things must move the way they want but in life sometimes what you plan for is not what you get,” he says. In future Batte says he wants to buy a taxi and become his own boss such that he makes more money.

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