Transport fares could be hiked despite cut in fuel prices

Users of public transport means may not benefit from government’s reduction of fuel prices with taxi operators planning to ask Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) to increase transport fares.
Commuter Taxis at Nyabugogo. (File photo)
Commuter Taxis at Nyabugogo. (File photo)

Users of public transport means may not benefit from government’s reduction of fuel prices with taxi operators planning to ask Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) to increase transport fares.

Col. (rtd) Dodo Twahirwa, the president of the Association for Transport Companies (ATRACO) said, “We are not planning to reduce the fairs but rather asking RURA to increase these charges.”

On October 6, 2008 fuel dealers in the country implemented new fuel tariffs which were reduced by 4.761 per cent as requested by government.

This saw pump price for petrol reduced from Frw924 to Frw880 while diesel was reduced to Frw870 from Frw924.

There was expectation that the drop in fuel prices would be followed by a positive response in reducing transport fares, food prices, and inflation and improve trade in general which was attributed to the cost of fuel.

Twahirwa said that in the past fuel prices have significantly increased yet transport did not increase in proportion to fuel costs. 

“There may not be a significant impact. We are still making some studies about it,” said Col. Diogène Mudenge the Director General of RURA, a body in charge of regulating public utilities. 

In June this year RURA announced an increase in transport charges of Frw20 in Kigali while up-country fares increased depending on the distance.

Recently there was also an illegal reported increase of transport charges by transport commuter companies operating in Kigali.

Commuter taxi operators are also reported to hike in transport fares above the recommended charge of Frw170 within Kigali city during rush hours—a claim that Atraco has declined.

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