Public transport remains one of the biggest challenges in many of our developing countries. The low levels of development mean that in many cases public transport remains quite haphazard. Things like underground passenger trains are still only seen in movies and in some places the operators of public transport are real mafia cartels that have the government and general public in a choke-hold of poor service delivery. Absence of affordable and organised public transport affects the quality of life in a city in two ways; those at the lower end of the economic scale will walk to work or live in slums closer to their workplaces while those at the upper end will opt to buy personal cars and contribute to traffic jam in their own way. It is common during the rush hour to see so many cars with a single occupant making up the bulk of the traffic. The endless traffic jams have in a way led to the ubiquity of motorcycle taxis often referred to as bodabodas or taxi moto in Kigali. These are now the best way to beat the traffic for those in a hurry to be somewhere. The fact that most of the users of these bodabodas are in a hurry can also be an explanation as to why they are prone to accidents as the drivers speed and break some rules to get somewhere quick. Some of these problems like the bodaboda menace in some cities have proved to be a business opportunity for hailing services like Safe Boda that is in Nairobi and Kampala. Others like Uber and Taxify that originally proved cab hailing services have also added bodabodas to their service menu. Other cities like Dar es Salaam have embarked on a Bus Rapid Transit system while Nairobi and Kigali have this in their plans. Public transport in Kigali has improved tremendously over the years. I can still recall the days of the small mini buses where we sat four people on a row and often had to, with humility, ask other passengers to squeeze up to allow another person to sit, “Twegerane”. One particular memory is stuck in my head, I sat on a row that had people who were of ample size and by the time I alighted around the Kanombe airport, I had to sit on the grass and wait for blood to flow to the leg that had been rendered paralysed These days many travel in comfort save for when you find yourself standing in the big buses. Although we have to agree that it is better to stand while in motion towards home or work than to stand for hours in a bus park or bus stop. The tap and go system also made the experience so much better for the commuters. I am sure the bus owners are also happy with an electronic revenue collection system instead of having to trust the driver to handover the correct amounts made. There are still things that can be done to improve public transport even in Kigali or Dar es Salaam. And this is what is really important; the reforms have to be continuous. Commuters, car owners, policy makers should constantly be engaging and thinking of how to improve the experience and service for everyone involved. Solutions should be tested and then rolled out gradually. It should not be always be a result of a kneejerk action. We don’t always need a fatal accident to be reminded that speed kills, that fatigued drivers should not be on the road, that overloading is bad or that cars used for public transport should meet a certain standard. Of course a major disaster does naturally compel us to do something. However such drastic measures are known to backfire. Recently residents of Nairobi woke up to a strike by Matatu operators as the traffic authorities tried to enforce the famous “Michuki rules” that are basic requirements for public transport vehicles that were forcefully implemented by a now deceased former minister. What I have noticed over time is that such moves are always fought back once implemented as an “operation.” It is always better to roll them out by for example being strict on the cars that are entering the business as the old ones are phased out by mere age. That way the push back is less likely. At the end of the day we should not stop ensuring that passengers’ experiences are improved so that even those with cars they don’t really need can opt for public transport. Email: email@example.com Blog: www.ssenyonga.wordpress.com Twitter: @ssojo81 The views expressed in this article are of the author.