RE: “Cashless bus fare system should be made optional” (The New Times, March 09, 2016)
As Rwanda evolves into the technology hub for the region and continent, the component of a smart city is very crucial and from it, builds other major urban development programs focused on Rwanda’s growth – and its challenges and opportunities.
AC Group launched the Tap&Go project with Kigali Bus Services and Royal Express and has since made some routes totally cashless with the blessing of the Government.
The primary reason for starting with automated fare collection where clients use cards is because operations were losing a huge percentage of their bus fare revenue to fraud hence hindering their ability to provide proper service to commuters.
With their revenues being collected in a transparent and efficient way, commuters have been able to enjoy public transport with fewer delays on the bus stops, quicker boarding on the buses and proper real time monitoring of the bus by authorities and the bus operators.
Commuters that come to Kigali for the first time do have access to a well spread network of points of sale of the Tap&Go cards both mobile and fixed at every park and major stops. These stations not only supply the clients with card but also educate them on how to use it.
The card can be topped up with what a commuter feels they want to use and can also be shared with a family member or friend.
The Tap&Go project is the first milestone towards building an intelligent transport system that is a key component of the Smart Rwanda Manifesto. Rwanda’s rapid shift to virtual money will strike because of a number of coordinated programs in different sectors and transport is one of them.
Patrick Buchana, CEO of AC Group