Search for new public transport operators begins

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) on Thursday, called for fresh bids from interested parties to operate public transport in the City of Kigali.

The move comes more than a year after the expiry of the contracts signed by three public transport companies that won the tender back in 2013.


All the three firms – Kigali Bus Services (KBS), Royal Express, and Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperative (RFTC) – had been allocated specific routes for a period of five years.


“RURA in partnership with RTDA (Rwanda Transport Development Agency), the City of Kigali, and MININFRA (Ministry of Infrastructure) wish to bring to the attention of interested parties that a competitive route licensing process for provision of public transport services in the City of Kigali has been initiated,” RURA said in a public noticed dated October 14, 2019 


The utility regulator pointed out that prospective operators will be required to fulfil a number of requirements including, an original destination network design, a zonal based public transport licensing model founded on the principle of regulated competition for the route as opposed to unregulated competition on the route.

Interested bidders will also be obliged to provide a scheduled service model based on a predictable 7-days a week timetable, and finally in order to ensure efficient service delivery, they will be required to have a fleet optimisation per public transport zone.

The new operators will be required to, among other things, reduce carbon footprint, minimise passenger waiting time, improve carrying capacity and enhance the commercial speed of the public transport system.

Stanislas Habimana, a driver and regular user of public buses says that operators should have solutions for the long-underserved routes in different areas.

“It is good news for the public transport users, but we hope that the new operators can address the challenge of underserved routes,” Habimana said.

Ancilla Mbarushimana, a resident of Kabeza Cell, welcomed the move.

She emphasized that: “For those who travel beyond 10:00 pm in the evening it is very hard for them to get transport means.

“Therefore there is need to extend working hours for the buses.”

Last year authorities extended the contracts of public transport operators by one year pending findings from a year-long road restructuring study.

The period was further extended by another six months to allow for further review of their companies’ services and completion of new terms of service.

“RURA wishes to inform interested investors that the Request for Proposals are available at RURA upon payment of Rwf100,000,” the RURA announcement said.

It also adds that “bidders’ workshops” will be conducted next week on Wednesday and Thursday in the capital Kigali.

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