There seem to be no end in sight for Kigali’s public transport teething problems.
Less than a month after some semblance of order had started to kick in, rifts are beginning to emerge: The smaller minibuses (14-18 sitters) are beginning to cry foul claiming they were given a raw deal.
While it was inevitable that it would be just a matter of time before the small minibuses are phased out in favour of bigger buses to reduce congestion on our streets, the issue of the fallout did not receive enough attention by city planners.
What is needed now, in urgency, is to find a solution to the issue of the smaller vehicles that seem to be the source of the problem. Billions have been invested in the vehicles and it is only natural that the owners expect returns, but not in a disorderly manner.
Instead of bringing calm in commuter transport, a physical rivalry is in the making between operators of the small and large buses. Authorities should step in before the industry morphs into lawless scenes, where taxi drivers and touts are a law unto themselves.
Reorganising a public transport industry is no mean feat and cannot be applied overnight; therefore the public should not dwell in over expectations.
But City of Kigali (CoK) authorities should also come out and reassure the public that the hitches that have been recorded are but just a passing phenomenon; all they need is patience.