KIGALI - In order to ease the shortage of public transport during rush hours, the Rwanda Public Transporters Association (RPTA) has disclosed it plans to import more buses.
The chairperson of the RPTA, Charles Ngarambe, revealed to The New Times that the transporters, who include local transport companies, are aware of the shortage hence the move.
“We have contacted some public commuter companies to import more buses to replace the small minibuses to address that scarcity.”
Kigali Bus Services (KBS) has already imported 20 new buses, each with the capacity to carry 80 passengers, which will supplement dozens of their regular Toyota Coaster minibuses with a capacity of between 24 and 28 people.
According to the Deputy Manager of KBS, the new buses which, by press time, had been cleared at the port of Dar es Salaam and are enroute to Kigali, are expected to start operating, by next week.
He also noted that the company would expand its routes to include Nyabugogo, Kimisagara, Kinyinya and uphill Nyenyeri.
The Mayor of Kigali City partly blames the consistent scarcity to the national transport agency, ONATRACOM’s decision to suspend its activities within the city.
“Even ONATRACOM buses which we used to deploy to rescue stranded travellers are no longer operating,” he said.
The city is, however, concluding plans to upgrade roads in remote suburbs of the city including Kimisange, Busanza, in Kicukiro and Nyarugenge districts, respectively, to enable bus operators to extend their operations there.
“…For example, residents of Kimisange will no longer board motorcycles or walk to Gikondo- Nyenyeri to get buses because these will reach their area. Those roads will also reduce traffic jams.”
The head of ATRACO, Dodo Twahirwa, also explained that they were redistributing vehicles from routes with a surplus of buses like Nyamirambo, to underserved ones like Kagugu in Gasabo District.
Kigali residents who use public transport have persistently complained about the shortage of vehicles, especially during rush hours.