Passengers decry lack of bus stops along roads

KIGALI -Commuters using public transport in Kigali have complained of the few bus stops on some of the city streets.Some of those interviewed identified the Remera- Kanombe portion of the Airport Road as the most affected, observing that there is only one bus-stop at an area commonly known as “Prince House”, to the next stop at the Kigali International Airport.
Commuters at a Kigali bus stop. Commuters have raised concerns  insufficient bus stops on some routes which compel them to walk long distances. New Times /Timothy Kisambira
Commuters at a Kigali bus stop. Commuters have raised concerns insufficient bus stops on some routes which compel them to walk long distances. New Times /Timothy Kisambira

KIGALI - Commuters using public transport in Kigali have complained of the few bus stops on some of the city streets.

Some of those interviewed identified the Remera- Kanombe portion of the Airport Road as the most affected, observing that there is only one bus-stop at an area commonly known as “Prince House”, to the next stop at the Kigali International Airport.

Only vehicles coming from the city centre destined for Remera Taxi Park are allowed to drop passengers off at the Giporoso trading centre.

“I am forced to get off the bus at Prince House and walk to Giporoso, over 500 metres,” lamented Linda Umutoni, a video library attendant.

She also pointed out the Kisementi -Giporoso route, which amounts to about 1.5 kilometers .

Under normal circumstances, the average distance between two bus stops ranges from 200 metres to 500 metres, according to Reuben Ahimbisibwe, the official in charge of Infrastructure Development at the Kigali City Council.

He however explained that there exists special exceptions which force city engineers to create bus stops placed far apart from one other to avoid accidents and for security purposes.

“There are standards followed in determining where to put bus stops. For example, in very busy areas, there would be a risk of causing accidents if there were many bus stops.”

He disclosed that in future, some roads, which he termed as ‘expressways’ purposely reserved for private or continuing vehicles, including the Kisementi to Giporoso, would cease to have any stops along them.

He however stressed that more bus stops would be added where necessary, if the issue is raised with relevant authorities.

Traffic Police Chief, Celestin Twahirwa, also underscored that some of the roads were difficult to have extra bus stops because of their nature.

“Some roads are in residential areas, with less people, others are very small, which makes it difficult to add more stopping points,” he says. 

Lambert Mucyo, the manager of Kigali Bus Services, a city commuter transporter also suggested that more stops be created.

“Now that the city is growing, it is almost inevitable to increase the loading and offloading places because more neighbourhoods are being developed.”

Patrick Muhire, a taxi-driver also suggested that irrespective of special cases, a solution should be sought to facilitate passengers who use roads with distant bus stops.

Ends

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