The President of the Association of Commuter Taxis (ATRACO), Col (Rtd) Twahirwa Dodo has said that the public transport congestion in Kigali city will soon be resolved.
Speaking to The New Times from his offices yesterday, Dodo said that the association has identified a place where a temporary terminal could be put for the time being as the city awaits the implementation of the master plan where different bus terminals will be identified.
“It is true that the commotion which is caused by passengers at Kwa Rubangura in the evening is so much, but plans to bring that problem to a halt are under way and a place has already been identified,” Twahirwa said.
The transport crisis has hit the city with many cases of people being stranded during peak hours in the morning and evenings when city residents are commuting to and from their respective places of work.
According to the ATRACO boss, his organisation is waiting for Kigali City Council to permit them to use the identified place.
“We are waiting for the go-ahead from KCC before we renovate the temporary place but they have not replied ever since we gave them our proposal,” he underscored.
The place ATRACO says they have identified is just behind Kwa Rubangura--- the down-town main bus terminal---and will, according to Twahirwa, have capacity to accommodate over 200 Taxis.
He added that the place will help reduce traffic doing away with the congestion at Kwa Rubangura because the congestion itself sometimes causes the shortage of taxis as some of them fail to get where to park and they just continue causing the shortages.
He pointed out that if the place is secured, all Taxis will have a place to park, and there they can be able to control the flow of the taxis, allocating them to routes which have more demand than others.
When contacted, Bruno Rangira, the Communications Director at KCC, said that the City had received the request but was still waiting for experts from Singapore who were making a detailed plan of Quartier Mateus and Muhima in down-town Kigali.
He said that it is this plan that will determine if the place could be used as requested by the transporters. According to Rangira, the Singaporeans are expected to have finished their study by March.
Initially, the Kigali City Master Plan does not include commuter parkings, what is in the plan are the bus terminals in different parts of the city where taxis and vehicles will be offloading and loading passengers.
“It is true that is the plan of our city, but in the meantime, we have to look for solutions that can help us overcome such problems like congestion,” Twahirwa emphasized.
Responding to an article published in The New Times saying that some taxi operators were using the scarcity to cheat passengers, Twahirwa said that all drivers were aware of the standard fares which were set by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA).
He called upon passengers to report all forms of cheating using the numbers written on the omni-buses, saying that ATRACO was committed to deal with any taxi operator caught cheating passengers.