It has been long overdue for Kigali City Council to come in fast and address the crisis facing public transport which was getting out of control.
The decision to allow ATRACO to construct a temporary taxi park behind Rubangura House, is not only going to tackle the problem of traffic jams but also the human congestion witnessed during evening hours.
As observed, Kigali’s population is growing at a fast rate. With over one million city dwellers, there are few commuter taxis and buses plying the city and its suburbs, the reason every evening passengers scrambles to get a seat on the few commuters hoping to get home early.
It’s also encouraging to know that among other things, public transportation was given priority in the Kigali Master plan. A modern well planned city is characterised by a good network of roads and facilities of public transportation that are able to handle as many people as possible without interfering with the flow of traffic.
It’s therefore important to note that the implementation of the Kigali Master Plan to come up with a modern city that Kigali is supposed to be will largely depend on how we plan for public transportation.
The World over, there are beautiful cities which are well planned but at the same time are known for heavy traffic jams. This means that the planners underestimated or did not give the issue of public transportation priority.
We should focus on setting up permanent infrastructure that will allow smooth flow of traffic today and for many years to come, putting in mind the fact that as the population grows, the number of automobiles also goes up.
While KCC is doing its part, ATRACO and other players in public transportation should also seek ways of improving on the way taxis and buses operate by adopting modern systems such as circulation timers and round-the-clock timetables.
RURA can oversee the implementation of this programme. The public should also show commitment by practicing good time management habits. This is the road developed cities across the globe took many years ago.