KIGALI - Commuter taxis and buses that parked near Rubangura House and opposite the Chez Venant food outlet in Kigali’s city centre have, since yesterday, been barred from the two areas by city authorities.
The vehicles were relocated to other designated bus stops including points near the Kigali Central Prison, ETO Muhima, Radio Rwanda and SULFO.
The stops are designated according to the city routes the busses ply.
In an interview yesterday, Kigali Mayor Fidele Ndayisaba, said that the decision was taken to reduce traffic congestion in the city centre.
“The congestion that was around the mentioned areas was slowing down activities in the city centre,” Ndayisaba said.“We could not afford chaos in the city..”
Ndayisaba said that the development is part of a bigger plan to encourage the taxis to get used to a continuous circulation where the designated stops are used for just picking and dropping off passengers.
“That is the system we want while also putting efforts into wooing investors to purchase modern buses. These will ease public transport in the city,” he explained.
Speaking to The New Times, Jean d’ Amour Ufitinema, a public transport user said that the change is a big inconvenience since he has to walk a long distance to the designated terminals.
“Rubangura House was a convenient stop for me and besides, it was just done without informing us about the new arrangement,” he said.
Fred Rwamurangwa, the chief coordinator of the ATRACO commuter transport association refuted the allegation and said that the announcement was made on Radio Rwanda.
“It is only that whenever there is a change, people find it difficult to immediately adapt, but with time, they will get used to it and find it helpful,” said Rwamurangwa.
Among the other projects that will help curb the congestion problem is the proposed Down Town commuter terminal to be built at the former Kigali Central Police Station premises in Muhima.
Once complete, the terminal will accommodate 507 cars, 169 minibuses and 145 buses. The terminal will also feature a parking section for private cars and taxicabs.
It will also feature shopping malls, apartments, hotels and restaurants.