COVID-19: RURA gave directives for Taxi motos, thousands tested before resuming work

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 28 May 2020 at 04:14

With taxi-motos expected to resume operations on June 1, after their services were temporarily suspended to curb the pandemic, the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has issued a new set of guidelines on operations in the sector to further contain the spread of the pandemic

All taxi motos operating in Kigali will start using only cashless payment platforms when charging their clients using MTN Rwanda and Airtel Rwanda digital currency platforms.

This goes in line with government plans to transform payment systems for taxi moto operators to cashless as defined by the vast success of the “Tap-and-go” payment system used on public commuter buses in Kigali.

Firms such as Yego Moto, Pascal Technology, and Mara Phone have already started rolling out the technology.

The new cashless payment system will see the 146 moto co-operatives across the country equip their fleet with GPS-enabled devices that calculate distance covered and the fare which will allow regulation of prices.

This could also reduce the common haggling for fares between taxi-moto riders and passengers often blamed for overcharging trips.

Only motorcyclists working in upcountry routes are exempted from meters for now but they are expected to use cashless payments as well.

Among other directives, passengers will be required to have a piece of cloth to wrap their heads before putting on a helmet to reduce physical contact with the protective gear which is shared by passengers.

RURA is also urging passengers who can afford their own helmets to procure them for use when using the common means of transport.

Maintenance of hygiene measures such as sanitizing hands and helmets were also encouraged in directives given, as well as social distancing in parking. Face masks are mandatory for both passengers and riders.

The fact that taxi motos are resuming operations will improve transport operations across the city allowing movement to be more convenient, flexible, and affordable in comparison to cabs.

For taxi motos to resume work, about 1,000 of them have been tested for Covid-19 as the baseline, in a move government says is to ensure there is no vulnerability.
Yesterday Health Minister Dr. Daniel Ngamije said that sample testing of Kigali taxi moto drivers is ongoing to establish a baseline, ahead of safe return of motos on 1st June.

The minister also said that in order for all taxi motos to resume passenger transportation, they will be required to sanitize their helmets, carry hand sanitizers, and wear face masks just as the passengers.

In collaboration with Pascal Technologies, the government is distributing pro bono 10,000 motor meters to all taxi moto riders in Kigali.

“We plan on distributing these meters to all taxi motos in Kigali. This will take us another week and then we embark on other regions afterward, said Pascal Ndizeye, the CEO of Pascal Technologies.