A tripartite partnership between Beno Holdings, a local company providing mobility solutions, Radiant Yacu Ltd and Equity Bank will see cyclists operating transport services in Kigali facilitated to get helmets among other kits in the next two weeks. The move follows recent complaints by passenger cyclists, commonly known as taxi vélo saying they are in dilemma over which type of helmets they will use and where they will get them from. After a period of six months without working, a cabinet meeting held recently resolved that bicycle taxi riders can resume operation in permitted working areas and in accordance with Covid-19 preventive measures, adding that they should adhere to other safety measures including wearing helmets. However, compliance with the new directive is at a very low rate, owing to constraints in resources, and lack of proper knowledge about the type of helmets they will buy. Speaking to The New Times, Jean-Pierre Rukundo, the Chairman of Beno Holdings said that passenger bicycle riders in Kigali will start receiving their helmets in two weeks to come. “We have worked with cooperatives in Kigali to know the number of operational passenger cyclists, and we have so far made an order for helmets, reflector jackets, and indicator lights for their bicycles. We expect these kits in the country in a few days,” he said. According to Rukundo, there are about 2,000 registered passenger cyclists in Kigali. He added that after providing the equipment to those in Kigali, the initiative will continue upcountry. How the partnership works Under the partnership, said Rukundo, Equity Bank will provide the loan to acquire the equipment, whereas Radiant Yacu Ltd will provide loan protection to the cyclists. The loan will be paid in a period of one year, whereby every taxi vélo operator will be required to pay Rwf5,000 upfront, and pay Rwf100 every day for a period of one year. “In case a cyclist fails to pay back the loan due to sudden death or any other reason that may cause permanent disability, we will pay the loan on his behalf,” said James Gakuru who is in charge of Sales and Marketing at Radiant Yacu. Meanwhile, Rukundo noted that the partnership is expected to help cyclists make a living while at the same time being protected from road accidents. “We are aware that taxi-cyclists are among those adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which adds to the fact that they earn petty money, a reason to why the partnership came, and we hope that it will help them to make a living when at the same time their lives and those of their passengers are protected from adverse effects of road accidents,” he said. For a passenger cyclist to benefit from the initiative, they will be required to open a bank account in Equity Bank where they will be depositing the Rwf100 daily as a loan payment and belong to a given cooperative that will serve the purpose of knowing contact details of the cyclist. Jean-Pierre Rukundo, Chairman of Beno Holdings.