The country's utility regulator has set October 18 as the deadline for all cab operators, commonly known as taxi voiture, to have installed metres in their cars.
This, according to Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) is in a bid to harmonise transport fares through fixed standard charges for special hire taxis.
Rura says having standard taxi cab fares will facilitate many to access the services especially where public transport is not available.
The disclosure was made on Thursday during a meeting between Rura and the taxi operators in Kigali.
Deo Muvunyi, the director of road transport regulation at Rura said all taxi voitures should be fitted with metres before they are issued with operating licenses.
"We have agreed that all taxis should have metres by October 18 and standard charges should be effective from that day. So far, we have only 318 cars with metres and are therefore calling upon all cab owners/operators to honour our request," Muvunyi said after the meeting with operators.
This initiative will create a win-win situation, both for the operators and the passengers, if properly implemented.
'We have faced a challenge of operators charging without due consideration of key parametreslike the distance covered. This has caused misunderstandings between the customers and the operators. But with the metre, all this will be sorted out," said Muvunyi.
He added that the initiative will specifically benefit foreigners and in turn protect the country's image.
"In case of loss of property, a passenger is also able to track it by looking at the receipt issued to him or her by the cab driver."
The proposed tariffs indicate that, taxi cabs working at the airport will be charging Rwf600 per kilometre, taxis operating elsewhere within the city will charge Rwf 500 per kilometre.
Under this tariff, all cabs will be required to install metres which will be able to calculate the distance taken in kilometres when the car is in motion and also calculate waiting time which will be charged differently.
"The tariffs will help these operators make enough money while consumers also get better services at affordable price.
A metre costs Rwf200,000 with one year warranty and free maintenance.
Innocent Ndikuriyo the vice president of Airport Taxi Drivers' Association of Kigali (ATAK) welcomed the move, saying that it will not only minimise conflicts between drivers and passengers but also between the car owners and government when paying taxes.
He further said that a client cannot be cheated since they are unable to tamper with the metre which is controlled by the supplier contracted by government.
Ben Mbonigaba, a taxi driver in Nyabugogo was however concerned with the issue of government basing on the metre to levy taxes on them.
"We use these taxis for both business and private work, I use my taxi to take my children to school, sometimes to attend weddings of families and friends or any other personal errand and during this time I am not making any money but the metre will be operational and I think is unfair," he said.
However, Muvunyi reassured the operators, saying in such cases, one can switch off the metre since he or she is not doing business.
Once the metred taxi system is implemented a distance of between one to three kilometres will cost Rwf 1,500. Another kilometer after the third will cost an extra Rwf 500.