HUYE—Transport fares on the Kigali – Butare bus route have fallen from the usual Frw1500 to Frw1200 as a result of companies acquiring new busses.
The 20 per cent decrease comes as SOTRA tours acquired a new fleet of 25-seat minibuses, replacing older busses with half the capacity.
The drop in fares also comes as a great challenge to Volcano Express, which has largely enjoyed a monopoly on the Kigali – Butare route.
Open markets at work
Refusing to be edged out of the market, Volcano express dropped its fares to Frw1300 in response.
“Our competitors dropped their fares so we had to follow suit so as not to be edged out of business,” a spokesman for Volcano said on the phone.
Jean Bosco Bigirimana, manager Horizon express that plies the same route said his company was not affected by the competition.
“Despite the reduction in fares, business is as usual. We continue to depart every hour and where necessary every half hour, said Bigirimana.
Bigirimana ruled out the possibility of decreasing the fares further or increasing in the near future.
At SOTRA Tours, officials say that they have neither increased nor reduced their transport fares.
Competition for passengers has seen major transport companies being stretched to the limit in a bid to win the confidence of passengers who are mainly university students.
Students and other members of the public have the luxury of being ferried from Butare town to the University and back at no cost.
According to student Jean Claude Kamana, competition in the transport business is a welcome development.
“We are reaping the fruits of competition.
Other companies should follow the Volcano express example and start departing every thirty minutes.
This will solve the transport problem on the route,” he said.