Rwanda adopted a cashless transport payment system commonly known as ‘Tap&Go’ in the City of Kigali in 2015, where a passenger uses a smartcard to pay for bus fares.
The RURA Director General, Patrick Nyirishema said that the service now covers 100% of all the public transport routes in the City of Kigali.
Nyirishema said that the plan is to have all Rwandans use the cashless payment system so as to eliminate the use of cash in public transport.
“Our plan is to totally move to the cashless system. After the success in Kigali, we plan on announcing a special cashless payment system for transport in the rural areas,” Nyirishema said.
So far there are 500 agent-operated devices across the Tap&Go network where citizens can load fares on their cards but also with options of using mobile money to top-up card balances.
However, with a digital literacy for citizens being 10% and differences in transport systems between Kigali and the upcountry, RURA said they are laying a tailor-made digital payment system that will fit the circumstances on ground.
“The rural digital public transport system has already been tried out in on the Rubavu-Musanze and Kigali-Huye routes but due to coronavirus, we were not able to complete the pilot process,” said Nyirishema.
He said that RURA and its stakeholders are currently discussing how to perfect the rural digital system and integrate it into the existing software, network, and servicing access points such as mobile payment.
“Very soon, we will speed up this process so that everyone moves from cash to cashless payments in public transport, which will also include an improved cashless system for moto-taxi transport,” Nyirishema added.
Before coronavirus, RURA and Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA) had trained thousands of moto-taxi transporters on using new moto-meter payment gadgets developed by local firms like Yego Moto and Pascal Technologies.