The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Clare Mukasine, yesterday commissioned a new Taxi Park in Gatenga Sector, Kicukiro District, built in accordance with the new district master plan.
The Rwf 300 million park, the first ever in the district, was built by Urban Infrastructure City Management Project (PIGU) with funds from the World Bank, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and the Government of Rwanda.
According to officials, the park has a capacity to accommodate 90 omnibuses and six buses at the same time.
“This park is now in your hands…there is still need for more infrastructure in the country. It would be a pity if the few we have are carelessly managed, so you have to ensure that this does not happen,” Mukasine told local authorities and residents.
District Mayor, Paul Jules Ndamage, said that the park will reduce accidents in the district, most of which he said took place at Kicukiro Centre which was always congested because of hosting the taxi park and market.
He warned taxi drivers that whoever will be found operating in Kicukiro Centre effective from tomorrow, will be heavily penalized.
The Kigali City vice Mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Development, Alphonse Nizeyimana, called upon the district to develop a plan that will provide room for investors to develop this strategically located centre.
Kicukiro Centre is located along the newly constructed Kigali-Bugesera highway and the new park was constructed about two kilometres away.
However, several taxi operators interviewed by The New Times said that the location of the new park was not conducive for attracting commuters.
“We appreciate having a new park but the problem is we might not gain because it is built far and the fares will remain the same,” Robert Bizimungu a taxi driver said.
Another driver, Charles Rwigamba, observed that since they had planned to build a taxi park far from where they used to operate from, it should have come with the new transport fare to suit both the drivers and commuters.
“But now we will operate at a loss,” he said.
Ndamage, however, said in a separate interview that the issue of fares is being discussed with relevant authorities to see how much should be added to the current Rwf150 being charged.