Streamline commercial motorcycle business too

Last week, the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) and the City of Kigali awarded three firms, including a cooperative, the tender to operate public transport in Kigali.

Last week, the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Authority (RURA) and the City of Kigali awarded three firms, including a cooperative, the tender to operate public transport in Kigali.

The firms include Kigali Bus Service (KBS), Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperative (RFTC) and Royal Express.

It is hoped that this will help streamline public transport as each of the three companies will operate in designated areas of the four zones identified in the city. This is a welcome move.

But there are other issues which need to be addressed to help reorganise public transport in the city.

Top on the list is the management of commercial motorcycle business, better known locally as taxi-motos.

Commercial motorcyclists emerged to fill the void created by an inefficient public transport system.

The motorcycle riders may be good at beating traffic jams and therefore helping many users to reach their destinations in time. To many,  they are more convenient since they are more accessible and reach suburbs that are not served by taxis and buses.

However, chaotic and undisciplined taxi-moto business has proved costly.

Many riders are reckless and break basic traffic rules at will. They are fond of speeding, riding on pavements, and taking grave risks while on the road. Some even have no licenses to operate.

Police statistics indicate that commercial motorcycles or taxi-motos are responsible for 80 per cent of road accidents each year.

This is an unacceptable trend and stern measures are needed to reverse it.

It is possible to come up with a proper framework that allows taxi-moto business to thrive without endangering lives.

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