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Curfew sparks high fares in public transport

Friday August 20 2021
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Public transport users have complained of inflated fares by operators. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA

By LEONCE MUVUNYI

Public transport users continue to pay high fares as they scramble for space to beat beat curfew hours.

With an exception around Kigali City where the public transport users pay the fare using rechargeable cards, the public transport users indicate that the situation is completely different in secondary and satellite cities where they pay inflated fares especially in the evening hours as they scramble to beat the curfew hour.

According to the recent Cabinet meeting, public transport should not exceed 75 percent of passenger capacity. Nevertheless, Rwanda Utility Regulation Authority has not enforced the new tariff but urged the operators to operate with the usual tariff Rwanda Today’s mini-survey on a few upcountry routes established that the public transport users are forced to high fares, especially in the evening.

“Most of the drivers, especially those who operate the routes link Kigali with the secondary or satellite cities, inflate fares especially towards the curfew time,” Emmanuel Nsanganira, a resident of Rwamagana district.

“I feel so bad when some people are daily victims of high prices of some minibuses as if nothing is happening on the ground. We have now come to terms with this (inflated fare prices), what else can we do? I am sure the concerned people are aware of it and they can’t do anything,” he added.

Rwanda Today has established that some public transport operators deployed fewer fleets, as transport business become less beneficial with the coronavirus restrictions’ related regulations.

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According to the travellers, on the back of the shortage of the fleets on the routes, as the number of the fleets have been grounded, they are only forced to scramble for limited space.

However, the transport operators indicate that Covid-19 regulations have forced them to take measures to cushion them against losses.

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