As some took time off in the just-concluded festive holidays, transport companies were in jubilation as scores of people thronged the companies to book for tickets to travel to various places to spend the holiday with friends and family.
Most went to regional countries, which led to an increase in the fares by bus companies plying routes to neighbouring countries.
However, though the fares were hiked, it did not stop the travellers.
Emmanuel Uherekejimfura, Assistant Manager of Jaguar Executive Coaches, one of the largest regional bus companies, said in interview that, due to the increase of passengers, they had to increase the number of buses to meet the demand.
He said most passengers mainly thronged Kigali from Kampala in the run up to the New Year.
“We normally have eight buses along Kampala-Kigali route every day, but because of the festive season, we were forced to increase three additional buses to meet the demand,” he said.
He added that whereas the charges remained the same, at Rwf7000, for those travelling to Kampala, those coming to Kigali had the normal charges hiked from 25,000 to 40,000 Ugandan Shillings.
Generally, he mentioned that this time more people came from Uganda to enjoy their festive season in Rwanda unlike the previous years, where the traffic was the opposite, adding that most were students.
Yahoo Bus Company that commutes daily to Bujumbura, experienced scarcity of buses and this left many passengers stranding the company official narrated.
“Travellers going to Bujumbura were many to the extent that we increased our buses from normal three to five, but those coming to Kigali were few,” Jeanette Akimana, a booking officer at the company, noted.
She further explained that due to shortage of buses, people were booking two days in advance to avoid missing their journey. However, she said that their fares remained at the normal rate of Rwf 6,000.
Geoffrey Mutebi, a Ugandan who was going back to Kampala after spending a week in Kigali, said he had never been to Rwanda before, adding that he wanted to witness firsthand what his neighbouring country had to offer.
“I had always wanted to come to Rwanda…I wanted to visit, to see how the country has progressed as I had heard various stories…I also wanted to visit my friends that we studied together in Kampala,” he said.
He commended the cleanliness of the city adding that he would be coming to Rwanda for the next festive season.