NGOMA\RWAMAGANA- Users of motorcycle taxis, commonly known as taxi-moto, are resisting the newly introduced smart cover, a tissue placed inside a helmet.
The smart cover, launched in Eastern Province, last week, was introduced to reduce possible spread of disease through sharing of helmets.
Motorcyclists who talked to The New Times yesterday claimed that passengers have rejected the device because it’s ‘too expensive’ yet the taxi-moto operators are unwilling to meet the costs.
The device is disposed off after single use.
Richard Ndahayo of Kibungo sector said that they would not make any profits if they bought a headgear for each and every passenger they transported.
He suggested that the authorities order passengers to buy their own covers whenever they use motorcycles.
“The whole idea is good...but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of our profits. We shall be buying one cover at Rwf 50 for a passenger, who pays us Rwf 200... this leaves us with Rwf 150. No profit at all.” he said.
Jean Claude Byukusenge, who operates in Rwamagana town, also said that the extra cost should be transferred to passengers.
“Some smart passengers have bought their own hats to use when wearing helmets. It is in the same spirit that passengers should be told to buy the smart covers. We just can’t afford the disposables,” he said.
Venuste Gahamanyi, the chairman of Ferwacotamu, a taxi-moto cooperative, however, insisted that the use of smart covers was mandatory.
“There is no bargaining...smart covers are mandatory to all motorcyclists and passengers. Of course, any change meets resistance, it is the nature of humanity,” he said.