Private sector urged to invest in public transport

The private sector should take advantage of the improved and expanded roads in the city to invest in the public transport industry, officials at the City of Kigali have said.

The private sector should take advantage of the improved and expanded roads in the city to invest in the public transport industry, officials at the City of Kigali have said.

City Hall spokesperson Bruno Rangira said: “The city authority is expanding roads dedicated to public transport buses, especially for high capacity buses that we hope will help reduce congestion and ease traffic flow in the city during peak hours.”

He was commenting on the planned introduction of Foton buses on the local market by Akagera Business Group today. Rangira said roads dedicated to public transport buses would be opened this year.

“Our target is that during the peak hours, public transport buses will have four lanes dedicated to them while we think of sustainable way for the rapid transit system,” he said..

Rangira said some roads in the city are being expanded to meet such standard, including the Rwandex-Sonatube section and Sonatube-Remera road. Others are the road from City Centre to Nyabugogo bus terminal and Nyabugogo-Gatsata, among others, besides others that are already four-range roads.

According to Shivaprakash Ramachandran, the Akagera Business Group sales manager, the launch of Foton buses in Rwanda will ease access and cost of the vehicles.

He added that the buses are good for firms plying up-country routes. So far there are 32 and 37-seater buses, which Ramachandran said are more comfortable and affordable compared to the brands on the market.

“We will bring bigger buses with a seating capacity of 80 people for city transport. We have already tested the buses on local roads,” he added. The firm will also launch three models of FOTON trucks with loading capacity of 4.3 tonnes; 20 tonnes and those for 40 tonnes payload.

Buyers speak out

Christine Kaliningondo, the procurement and logistics director at Skol Rwanda, said though the firm has been using Hyundai, they have ordered for FOTON buses that are being prepared for use.

Bonane Bahati, the assistant of transport manager at Moto Engil, which is undertaking construction works at Bugesera International Airport, said the introduction of FOTON trucks on the local market is timely, adding that they are strong and more affordable.