There has been a reported hike in taxi fares within the city, which officials have dismissed as illegal.
According to a New Times mini-survey conducted mainly during the evening for the last two months taxi operators have been found increasing the fares from the recommended Frw170 to either Frw200 or Frw300.
The President of the Commuter Transport Association (ATRACO) Colonel (Rtd) Dodo Twahirwa, when contacted said that ATRACO was yet to verify the illegal practice.
Colonel Dodo stressed that the recommended transport fare by Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) the body that regulates utilities in the country, does not exceed Frw170 within town, “therefore any charge beyond this is illegal.”
He also declined to give any details of any actions to be taken against offenders if caught but rather urged passengers to be vigilant about such operators.
However The New Times was yet to get a comment from RURA. In January this year, RURA approved the increasing of transport fares countrywide.
In Kigali city the fares increased by Frw20 from Frw150 while up-country fares increased depending on the distance.
The increment in transport fares was said to try match with the cost of fuel that had almost doubled from around Frw 460 per litre to Frw 726 yet transport was fixed at Frw150.
The hike in the fares has been attributed to the increasing number of passangers in the city.
Taxi drivers that The New Times talked to claimed that they use the same amount of fuel from town to different suburbs yet they come back to town with no passengers therefore compensate with such a slight increment.
To the passengers at the famous Rubangura stage, there is relatively no choice but to struggle into the taxis since people are always crowded.
Public transport within Kigali is mainly by minibuses, which connect the city centre with several major suburbs such as Gatsata, Gisozi, Gikondo Kacyiru, Kabeza, Kicukiro, Kimisagara, Kimironko, Nyabugogo, Nyenyeri, Nyamirambo, and Remera.