MUHANGA – Taxi touts in Muhanga town last week clashed over passengers as competition among transporters intensified.
Traffic police calmed tempers when agents of Volcano and International transport companies nearly exchanged blows, accusing each other of trespassing on each other’s territory.
Antoine Kayitare, working for the International transport company said, “Volcano agents have invaded our space which is not acceptable. Each agency should control its own area as agreed previously.”
Sources said International transport company has tentatively stopped transporting passengers from Muhanga to Kigali, but this could not independently be verified.
The competition has come as a blessing to travelers as it has led to a reduction in transport fares from Muhanga to Kigali. The special taxis are now charging Rwf800 down from Rwf900.
This has also posed a big challenge for public commuter omnibus commonly known as ‘twegerane’.
Samuel Kagabo, one of the drivers, says most taxis are largely left to carry passengers alighting along the Kigali route.
The number of transport agencies has grown from 2 to 8 companies in the past two years. Some companies like Tebuka and Stella express have dropped out of the competition along the route.
Most passengers say that the competition works out perfectly and the variety gives them several options to choose from based on quality of services on offer rather than labels as it used to be in the past years -when Atraco express had the monopoly over the market.
“Customer care is very important nowadays and we prefer agencies that keep time and deliver. This sort of competition is in our favor and it is sign of growth,” one passenger said.