Model pegged on fuel price stifles taxi hailing subsector in Kigali city

Saturday October 01 2022

Yego cabs. The difference in pricing gives VW a competitive edge over its competitors. PHOTO | FILE


Yego Cabs Ltd has maintained its lead in the taxi service provision business despite the entry of rival Move using Volkswagen models, a mini-survey by Rwanda Today shows.

Yego boasts a larger fleet — over 3,000 vehicles across Kigali, compared with Move’s initial 150 VW Polo cars. On its entry in 2018, Move offered a lower price per kilometre — Rwf450 compared with Yego’s Rwf700.

However, some customers complain that Move drivers prefer only customers travelling long distances.

“I was a Move customer, riding in their new cars at a price way lower than their rival because it made sense at many levels, but their service has significantly declined. Getting their drivers to accept your hail is like akin to playing the lottery. I understand there are many places in Kigali that they won’t come to, so I switched back to Yego,” said Akumuntu Gerald, a customer.

The Move fleet of cars, which they promised would be gradually deployed to cover every corner of Kigali has not happened and is actually shrinking, thereby affecting their service.

While Volkswagen didn’t respond to our request for information, a Move driver told Rwanda Today that they are required to bring in money commensurate with the kilometres driven. This, he said, makes them turn down many customers who call them from distances they feel will not be worth the fuel and effort.


“The service is limping because we turn down many customers, unless it’s a really long distance like from Kanombe to Nyamirambo or town many of us won’t come to serve you. We first calculate the distance and how much will be earned in the kilometres covered. Many clients we turned down moved to Yego.”

Franco Rukundo, a Yego cabs taxi operator, says what mainly gives them an edge over Move is the flexibility and wide accessibility in all parts of the city.

“With over 3,000 Yego cabs in Kigali, chances are high that there will always be a cab near where a customer is.”

“Petrol prices stand at Rwf1,690 per liter, the meter tariffs are old and need to be increased as this is costing us time and livelihoods,” Rukundo added. For Volkswagen electric taxi cars, when a customer calls the call center requesting for a Move electric vehicle, a driver’s phone number is provided.

Then the runaround begins as the driver demands you first share your itinerary because electric cars are only for specific trips. And based on the itinerary, the driver may or may not, claiming that the car battery charging stations that were promised for Kigali and every 50Km outside Kigali are not yet in place.