The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Passenger Influx Overwhelms Transporters

BUSES plying different parts of the region are fully booked for the next few days as the festive season travel rush peaks ahead of Christmas.

The most affected route is the Kigali-Kampala route.

A mini survey conducted by The New Times yesterday, showed that passengers were being turned away yesterday if they had not booked in advance.

Officials at GaGa Coaches said the number of passengers had surged due to the festive season, which is good for business.

"Our buses are booked until Monday, 6pm.We no longer accept reservations as we have no free space until Monday. Passengers are just so many but that's how the situation is during the festive season," she said.

The official, who declined to mention her name, however noted that this is also going to boost their business as they expect to make a lot of money during this season.

Another booking clerk at Kampala Coaches, said their buses were fully booked until 8pm, Sunday night.

Most of the passengers who come with the intention of travelling that same day without having booked days in advance have been turned away.

A booking clerk at Jaguar buses who gave his name only as Emmanuel stated that they anticipated passenger surge especially during the Christmas period, and planned ahead of time.

"We always have five buses travelling each day but we predicted the increase in number of passengers and added a sixth bus. However, the number of passengers is actually still big but that's what we want," he added.

Our survey revealed that in Nyabugogo Park Onatracom, Rwanda government Transport Company is among the very few buses that had some space left.

Grace Mujawayesu, together with her three children were among the passengers stranded as she wasn't able to travel to Uganda yesterday with the particular cheap bus she prefers as it was fully booked.

Travellers are advised to book in advance in case they are planning on travelling upcountry or outside the country.

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