Skip to main content

Projet: Emission Club de la Presse: "Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru "

Activité:Talk show ″Urubugarw'itangazamakuru″ (Club de la presse)


  • IPGL

Rwanda: Kigali Needs Over 500 Buses to Address Public Transport Woes

Every year, the issue of public transport in Kigali clouds the media space, and over time, different measures have been suggested but it persists. One cannot ignore the fact that matters that are of public interest - like public transport - are equally of concern to government.

A visit to different bus terminals and bus stops across Kigali by Urubuga rw’Itangazamakuru talk show focal points during morning hours will give you a real-time experience of what exactly passengers have to endure on a daily basis.

According to Anselme Nshimiyimana, a passenger from Kimironko taxi park, the only way to fix the public transport sector is to avail as many buses as possible.

"The only way to get a bus easily is to wake up so early and be at the bus station by 05:00am because, arriving at say 7:00am, means you are going to queue for a while and arrive at work by 9:00am," Nshimiyimana said.

The journalist Ildephonse argued that the problem of public transport in Kigali is based on the nature of this city because it is a service city and not a business city.

He added: "In fact, in most countries, public transport is managed by the state but if the government handed it to the private sector and placed RURA at the helm of regulating the sector, then RURA should focus more on the interests of the public than those of the profit-oriented businesses."

 "An entire route is operated by one player; the same player decides when to dispatch and when not to dispatch a bus as passengers wait. RURA should fully open up the market or should place several operators on each lane and create competition."

The two heads of transport companies: Kigali Bus Services (KBS) and Royal express said that they have suffered a loss, and that the government does not facilitate them efficiently.

"We have now ordered for more buses which could arrive in January next year. The buses can help during peak times. Besides needed dedicated bus lanes, we also need a passenger information system for improved management, said Ndabaganje Jules Cesar, the Managing Director of Royal Express.

Munara jean Claude, the managing director of KBS said that there are a lot of factors to consider since these buses are mostly purchased on loans, “these engines are bought on loans, and you pay insurance, GPS, bus park centers, workers, among others.

“Therefore, when you top up all the expenses and compare with the profit the bus made, you find that people are operating in a crisis,” he said.

The proposed the long-term solution to solve the problem of transport in Kigali is not to bring more buses but there is a need to build enough roads so that buses do not delay their routes on the roads due to collisions with normal cars of people coming to work or going home in the evening.

In 2019, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) issued a tender calling for investors to address public transport complaints in the second generation of transport system.

However, Emmanuel Katabarwa, the city engineer said that the assessment showed that no investor proved to have enough financial capacity and all what had been requested to address the public transport issues.

The issue of public transport in Rwanda is not in the city only; upcountry commuters also decry poor transportation services



Loading the player...