The New Times (Kigali)

6 February 2013

Rwanda: Jaguar Installs Tracking Devices to Enhance Road Safety

Jaguar buses plying the Kigali-Kampala routes have been installed with web-tracking devices to record data on speed, fuel consumption and various other things taking place in the bus en-route.

The new system has been introduced to improve customer care, road safety and boost business, Jaguar officials said.

Alex Katete, the Jaguar Bus Company manager, said the web-based system procured from Kampala consists of a camera installed in the bus, which connects with the checkpoint equipped with a computer at the Jaguar head office in Uganda.

The system records data on fuel, speed and other goings-on in the bus from departure to destination. Since the device was installed three months ago, Katete said it has reduced fuel consumption.

"Before we started, we could spend Ushs1.5m (Rwf355,000) on fuel for a single trip, but it has since reduced to Rwf331,423)," Katete said.

Highs and lows

Emmanuel Uherekenjimfura, the deputy manager of Jaguar Kigali office, attributed fuel reduction to the speed limit, saying engine speed affects fuel consumption.

He added that passengers appreciate the recommended speed, which is supposed to be lower than 80 kilometres per hour, but some clients complain of time spent on the road owing to speed monitoring.

However, Uherekenjimfura said such complaints "are not a big deal because they have to ensure the safety of customers."

Jaguar economy class buses carry 66 passengers each and the VIP buses carry 44 passengers each.

The new system will also help local transporters monitor activities in buses, either travelling upcountry or within town.

"The new technology of Jaguar will help us as well, because some mistakes however small from drivers go unnoticed by our managers," Jimmy Nshimiyimana, a booking clerk at Sotra Tours, a transport company that owns more than 50 buses operating inland, said.

The Traffic and Road Safety spokesperson in the Rwanda National Police, JMV Ndushabandi, welcomed the technology.

"Jaguar bringing this technology is a good thing indeed, and that they can control fuel is an added advantage," he said.

Ndushabandi added that the police are partnering with the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency on a project to introduce the new technology in public transport.

"We will most especially focus on speed metres to curb accidents," he said.

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