Prime Minister promises to address travel fares issue

By Nicole Kamanzi M.
On 21 October 2020 at 10:13

The Prime Minister’s Office promised to work with relevant stakeholder in finding a solution on public concerns over a recent decision to increase public transport fares on some routes in the City of Kigali and upcountry, a decision that left many pleased citing the timing of the increment as wrong given the economic hardships brought about by the pandemic.

“We have taken note of the concerns of citizens regarding transport tariffs and the Prime Minister together with relevant stakeholders will address the issue as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente said through Twitter on Tuesday evening.

The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) announced the rates new last week, after a cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame last Monday to increase occupancy levels in public buses to 100 percent for seated passengers and 50 percent for standing passengers.

The Director General of RURA Patrick Nyirishema said the existing fares were introduced in 2018 and were expected to change in March but the increment was put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak; he explained that the new fares were routine since the regulator revises the rates every two years based on many factors, mainly the cost of operating routes.

Many were not satisfied with the decision and therefore started a complain channel through social media, mostly tweeter with the hashtag #RURA4TransportFairness trending for days.

The regulator however did not budge, maintaining that the fares were well thought, despite many complaints from the public. Following days of complaints, the Prime Minister promised to look into the issue and find a befitting answer to resolve the issues.