Rwamagana residents irked by RURA transport changes

Residents of Rwamagana district have expressed anger over the recent changes in transportation routes for public transporters, which were ordered by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA).
According to the new directive, all Express companies operating in the area will have departure point for Kigali from Kayonza. The New Times/ Timothy  Kisambira.
According to the new directive, all Express companies operating in the area will have departure point for Kigali from Kayonza. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

Residents of Rwamagana district have expressed anger over the recent changes in transportation routes for public transporters, which were ordered by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA).

According to the new changes that started four days ago, all vehicles in Rwamagana town will be obliged to drive to Kayonza town before returning to Rwamagana and off to Kigali.

In other words, all Express companies operating in the area will have departure point for Kigali from Kayonza.

They will only pick passengers in Rwamagana on their way to Kigali and take the last passenger to Kayonza on return.

According to Rajab Uwineza, a Rwamagana resident, who works with Stella Transport Company in Rwamagana, the new changes were completely out of context. Uwineza said that the decision was taken in a way that never considered the interest of the public, adding that it has caused inconveniences and losses to people of Rwamagana.

“The decision was sudden, unfriendly, unjust and inconsiderate...it never respected the needs of the people of Rwamagana. We waste fuel to drive empty vehicles to Kayonza just for a routine...we can’t understand why we are forced to go to Kayonza before we drive to Kigali,” he said.

“How do you force vehicles in one district to drive to another before they head to Kigali...we are law abiding citizens, but people shouldn’t take us for a ride.”

Jean Mugabo, an entrepreneur in Rwamagana, told The New Times that the changes should have been made in consultation with the people.

“Rwamagana has been suffering with transport system inconsistence for long time...They say the change is a trial, but look how travellers struggle to adapt to it. Did we need the change? Surely we did not. We don’t get what we need because no one involves us...,” he said.

Issa Ngezi, a resident of Kigali working for International Transport Company, however, had a different opinion saying that the changes would benefit passengers.

“The changes will increase efficiency...buses will keep time and there will be no more commotion,” he said.

Issue of car park

The changes notwithstanding, Rwamagana still has no taxi park that can accommodate all the vehicles as per the RURA’s new directive.

According to Maninsura Ntivuguruzwa, the decision to implement the changes would have taken into consideration the fact that there was no parking space.

The Mayor of Rwamagana district, Nehemie Uwimana, said he was not fully aware of the change, but emphasised that any new change should have considered the absence of a taxi park.

“I will talk to RURA, but I am surprised, if vehicles were ordered to go to one park...we don’t have a car park as a matter of fact,” he said.

RURA officials couldn’t be reached by press time.

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