Passengers in Kigali City and its suburbs have lamented the state of poor transportation services citing long dwelling time at stages waiting for buses to transport them.
Passengers from Kicukiro – Gatenga - Magerwa - Nyabugogo or from Kigali town claim to wait between 30 and 1 hour and when they get aboard, they said, many stops add to their delay on the road, affecting their businesses in the process. Other passengers on the Kigali - Gatsata suburb say they do wait for buses at bus-stops for more than an hour.
Passengers on the Kimisagara route usually do wait between 30 minutes and an hour in the evening.
However a passenger from Nyabugogo-Rutonde route have told IGIHE that they sometimes arrive at 7:00pm but get the bus at 9.00pm.
The administrator of one of transport agencies in Kigali (KBS), Deo Muvunyi has said that delays are attributed to passengers who don’t use ‘tap &go’ cards.
“Giving back change delays the journey as long passengers have not yet all embraced the usage of ‘Tap &go’. Payments and waiting to receive change takes time,” he said.
He however blamed some drivers who stop at every bus stop for no reason.
Muvunyi said that they don’t have bus shortage.
Nilla Muneza, the Managing Director of Royal Express has said that the challenge is known but urged passengers to value achieved developments in Kigali public transport.
“People should consider that some problems were addressed though not all expectations aren’t met,” he said.
“We are in process of solving the problems, targeting for a passenger not to wait for more than five minutes. We are seeking solutions as we are waiting for new buses in April or May 2017,” he said.
Emmanuel Asaba Katabarwa, the head of transport department at Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has rejected claims that buses come late.
“I don’t agree with those claiming to be waiting for long. A person waits for the bus other than having the bus waiting for him/her. Queuing waiting for the bus exists everywhere around the world. No line goes beyond 30 minutes except in some few cases,” he said.
“In Rwanda, we don’t have large traffic jam compared to other countries. We don’t even wish to see passengers waiting these 30 minutes. That is why we have set a program where a bus has to arrive at public gatherings each five minutes or not beyond 15 minutes. The problem lies in the matter of having many passengers at the bus stop beyond the bus’ capacity. The matter is well known in Kimironko direction” he added.
Katabarwa explained that they are encouraging investors in big buses to address the matter.
Public transport in Kigali was revised three years ago to enhance smooth transport of passengers that saw the of small taxis known as ‘Twegerane’ leaving Kigali public transport in the management of three transport companies’ agencies.
The three include KBS, Royal Express and RFTC which took over duties to various parts of the city. The reforms brought some innovations in public transport like the introduction of payment card "Tap & Go" and installing free internet in buses.The internet is however said to be useless as it doesn’t work.