EDITORIAL: Absence of order in public transport breeds chaos

In a bid to streamline public transport, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has put in place many measures, some of which turn out to be unpopular at the beginning, but perceptions later change.

That is the case of the transport sector, especially public passenger transport that has to be whipped back in line from time to time. The introduction of taxi metres is one bone of contention that is yet to be settled.

Drivers complain that there is no rationale in the heavy price set in acquiring a metre and the fines for not switching it on. According to the law, metres must be switched on at all times the taxi is in the move, but taxi drivers argue that sometimes they are stopped while on personal errands and fined heavily.

Yesterday police and RURA were on the road and many a taxi-men went back home cursing for being caught on the wrong side of the law. But the law is the law.

Some taxi drivers really need to be taught a lesson; many feign that their metres are out of order so as to overcharge their passengers, especially those ignorant about the metre policy. Those are the ones that cause problems for their colleagues.

Taxi operators – especially taxi-moto – are notorious for their reckless manner on the roads. For any reasonable city to have a good public transport system, there has to be order, regulation and enforcing mechanisms, outside of that and there is uncontrollable chaos.

One only needs to visit some of our neighbouring countries to get a full picture of what madness on the road really looks like. Rwanda does not want to get there, but the only way to do that is by all transport stakeholders coming together to chart the way forward so that no one is left holding the short end of the stick.