Motorcyclists in Kigali have started removing electric meters that show the charges at the end of trip as high cost of fuel and insurance premium take toll on them.
The riders said high cost of fuel and insurance premium has subjected to losses since charges were fixed without considering increasing operation costs. The government made it mandatory for all motorcyclists to shift to the cashless payment model which required them to use the electric meters. The final transport fare is calculated using GPS.
However, now there is resistance from the motorcyclists who say given that the total amount is shared with the company which provides the electric meters and the recent rise in insurance and fuel, their earnings have been significantly affected.
Figures by Yego Ltd, the transport company that installed the electric meters show currently only 12,000 meters are active of the 18,500 that were issued to motorcyclists. Currently there are approximately 26,000 registered motorcyclists.
Irene Patience Muhirwa, ICT team leader at Yego Moto Temp told Rwanda Today that between 3000 and 5000 are still waiting for the meter’s installation after registration.
The database by Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Board ( RURA) also show a reduction in the use of meters. For example, a reduction of meter usage happened in March in a range of, 0 Km, 0 to 50 km, 50 km to 100 km, and over 100 km mounted to 18,360 in total and 18,359 motorists stopped using the meters in April and May.
A motorist in Kigali, Boniface Uwimana, said the lower travel fee that is set for motor transport, holds them back in their earnings as they count the rise in expenditures. For example, the insurance has been raised to Rwf153,000 and Rwf72,000 for tax, and the Authorization Rwf30,000 for the Rwanda Utility Regulation Authority.
"We work at a loss, the fixed fee in the electric meters was for a long time ago. The fuel has increased nearly three times ever since I started using the meter. To be honest, I can't use it when I can, especially at night," Mr. Uwimana told Rwanda Today, around Kisimenti.
However, Rura said no gap in the current travel cost, according to the costing model of the moto taxi's spare parts, and even the cost of a motorcycle on the market.