Revisit Kigali’s public transport system

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Passengers board a bus at downtown Kigali taxi park. / Nadege Imbabazi

Editor,

RE: “Will demerit-point system bring order to public transport?” (The New Times, March 14).

Thank you The New Times and RURA for the clarification on drivers’ monitoring system. However, I still think that RURA is treating the symptom but not the root cause.

The root cause, in my humble opinion, is the way the tendering system for the transport routes is set up. First of all, five years is too long given the way the city is growing (e.g. new roads that Kigali City authorities tarmac by the day) and people’s incomes are growing as Rwanda’s economy grows.

Secondly, one route is given to one transport company, which creates a monopoly that later affects service delivery because the contracted company has no competition on that route.

My view is that the contracts should be made shorter, 2 or 3 years, and 2 or 3 companies should be selected to operate on one route which would create healthy competition. Combined with the proposed system, I think transport woes would be resolved in a tangible way.

As for the passenger monitoring system, I would propose RURA to work with our young and bright innovators at kLab/universities to create innovative apps (and not necessarily one only), all this in the spirit of Made-in-Rwanda software and apps.

However, for even more innovative apps, RURA/Government institutions need to release some data to the public/developers – mapping routes, number of motos, number of buses... – so that the innovators can make more effective apps/software.

Kigali Girl