The Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA) has approved the increase of transport fares countrywide.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Eugene Kivunangoma the Director of Transport department in RURA said that all commuter transport companies- both private and government-owned- had all legally increased their transport fares.
The companies include Atraco Express, Tebuka, ONATRACOM, Virunga Express and Volcanoes Express among others.
Kivunangoma said that transport fares in Kigali city had increased by Frw20 while up-country fares increased depending on the distance.
“For example, travelling to Ruhengeri, fares have been increased from Frw1300 to Frw 1,500 while travelling to and from Gisenyi increased from Frw2,000 to Frw2, 500,” he said.
During a press conference last week, the Minister of Commerce Protais Mitali confirmed the increase in fuel prices and explained that it was brought about by the current post-election violence in Kenya, which is Rwanda’s main transit route. The government regulates fuel prices in the country.
However, he was optimistic that the transport fares may fall once the current fuel prices decrease.
The head of the Commuter Transport Association (ATRACO) Colonel (Rtd) Dodo Twahirwa yesterday said that previous transport fares did not match the cost of fuel and it was therefore necessary to increase them.
Earlier this month, Twahirwa had explained that there was scarcity of vehicles because taxi operators were frustrated with the regulated taxi fares which were not profitable at all.
He argued that standard taxi fares within Kigali city was Frw150 which was fixed when fuel cost around Frw 460 per litre but the price has gone up to Frw 726.
Kivunangoma further said that prior to the increase there had been scarcity of commuter taxis. He revealed that RURA, transport company owners, Kigali City Council (KCC) and government representatives are to meet today to find solutions to the problem.
Public transport within Kigali is mainly by minibuses, which connect the city centre with several major suburbs such as Gatsata, Gisozi, Gikondo Kacyiru, Kabeza, Kicukiro, Kimisagara, Kimironko, Nyabugogo, Nyenyeri, Nyamirambo, and Remera.