As the protests started in the morning of Thursday 13th January 2022, taxi moto operators turned up in groups while others rode through different parts of Kigali beeping horns to attract authorities’ attention.
Groups of motorcyclists have been seen gathered in different parts of the city including Muhima, Nyamirambo, Gikondo, Gishushu and the city centre.
They rose concerns over of huge amount deducted from revenue margin and hiking motorbike insurance premium.
Simpari Shema Pierre is among taxi moto operators who participated in the protests nearby former premises of Nyarugenge Prison known as 1930. He revealed that they have staged strikes to demand action.
“We want our problems solved because the provider of the fare meter is deducting a high percentage from our revenue margin. For instance, the fare meter deducts Rwf300 per every earned Rwf2000,” he said.
Shema went on to explain that they did not receive enough details about all charges related to the use of fare meters.
“We are complaining about the high cost of using fare meters and expensive insurance premium. We were promised that the cost would be cut down but nothing was done. Besides, Yego Moto is charging a high percentage yet we were not aware of it,” he said.
As for current prices, a passenger is necessitated to pay Rwf300 for the first two kilometres while the previous fare of Rwf133 per kilometre for the rest of the journey has been dropped to Rwf107.
The tariff changes from Rwf107 to Rwf187 when covered distance goes beyond 40 kilometres.
Taxi motor operators receive fare meters from Yego Moto for free but the provider deducts particular amount on every payment.
A taxi moto operator dodging the fare meter is charged Rwf30,000 fine.
The mandatory use of fare meters in Kigali City went into effect on 7th January 2022.
“We are offended because we pay all dues and make contributions to motorcyclists’ cooperative which seem to be idle. We are disappointed to see the fare meters charging 15% of revenue margin,” lamented another motorcyclist called Innocent Bizimungu.
Taxi moto operators have also complained about insurance premium which increased three folds.
For the past three years, motorbike insurance premium rose from Rwf45,000 to Rwf153,200 for a motorcycle that was manufactured five years ago or less.
The premium increased to more than Rwf180, 000 for those that were made more than 10 years ago.
Motorcyclists have demanded that the prices be revised and reduced to a reasonable amount.
Insurers attribute the hike in motorbike insurance cost to heavy bills paid in compensations for injuries or deaths caused by taxi motor accidents.
Many insurance companies in the country do not provide insurance package for motorbikes due to incurred losses. Radiant Insurance is currently the only company providing motorbike insurance in the country.