Kigali Bus Services (KBS) has started operating the Kigali-Rubavu route via Musanze, with an initial fleet of 30 minibuses formerly operating within Kigali.
The development comes after KBS confirmed the delivery of 20 more buses, each with a capacity of 80 passengers.
“We want to make sure that we use buses that will carry more people instead of having many vehicles to transport a small number (of passengers), as this also heavily contributes to traffic jams in the city,” explained KBS Chairman, Charles Ngarambe.
He revealed that although fares from the upcountry routes would remain uniform, passengers will use the same tickets in Kigali.
“Passenger`s heading to the city centre from Nyabugogo, will not be charged extra fare from Rubavu,” he said.
KBS Deputy Managing Director, Lambert Mucyo, said that the move is also aimed at eliminating ordinary paper ticketing to a purely smartcard ticketing system within the city.
“We want to improve our services to rhyme with other advanced public transport companies elsewhere as this system reduces the time passengers and conductors spend negotiating,” Mucyo noted.
Passengers who spoke to The New Times appreciated the move saying it would help reduce the shortage of public transport in upcountry routes.
“There is still need for more buses on upcountry routes, not only to curb the shortage during festive seasons or when students are going for holidays. It’s a problem we experience daily,” commented Faustin Mutabazi.
The Director General of Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), Regis Gatarayiha, hailed KBS, revealing it acquired the licence to operate upcountry last week.
“It is evident that there is a gap in public transport upcountry; it is this shortage that KBS and other transport companies are trying to bridge,” Gatarayiha said.