More buses to reduce long queues in Kigali
Sunday March 12 2023
Long queues at at bus stop will be history in three months when the government adds 300 buses to support public transport system.
The buses which will be deployed on city routes are coming to help address the shortage of buses which has worsened the public transport problem in Kigali.
“We are going to purchase more than 300 buses to be added on Kigali routes, we have the budget and we are in the process of procuring the buses, they will be here in the next three months,” said Uwase Patricie, Minister of state in the Ministry of infrastructure.
The number of buses operating Kigali routes has significantly declined in the last few years, as players reduced their fleet citing high operational costs worsened by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Transport companies have said the situation had been made worse by rising fuel prices despite the government subsidy.
As a result, some operators exited the business because it had become untenable, hence the shortage of buses. As a result, a commuter has been spending up to two hours in a queue waiting for a bus, especially during rush hours, while commuters on other less travelled routes had to wait longer.
The other cause of the long queues has been the fact that the public transport business was ringfenced to be operated by only three companies, but this has been since reformed by the government, letting in other players.
“It used to be only three companies but we have opened the market up for other players as well,” the Minister said. However, the problem seems to have persisted, forcing the government to invest its money.
When asked if this move means the government will conduct transport business, Ms Uwase said the government will only buy the buses and work with private sector players to operate them.
She added they the government is carrying out a study to improve the Nyabugogo bus terminal by separating bus parks that operate city routes, upcountry routes and regional routes.