Rwanda: All Kigali Taxi Motos to Use Cashless Payments

Taxi-moto operators on the road (file photo).

All taxi motos operating in Kigali will from June 1, use only cashless payment platforms when charging their clients, according to Rwanda UtilitiesRegulatory Authority (RURA).

This is part of the efforts to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 throug cash handling.

With taxi motos expected to resume operations on June 1, after they were temporarily suspended to curb the pandemic, RURA has issued a new set of guidelines on operations in the sector.

Operators and their clients have an option from the two telcos providing mobile money payment platforms, MTN Rwanda and Airtel Rwanda and will rely on installed meters to determine the cost of trips.

This is also in line with government plans to transform payment systems for taxi moto operators to cashless which was to be executed in the first half of this year after the postponement of from a deadline previously set at July 2019.

The development is part of the national motorcycle transport strategy to introduce a cashless based payment system for taxi-moto operators building on the success of "Tap-and-go" payment system, which is deployed on public commuter buses in Kigali.

Firms such as Yego Moto, Pascal Technology, and Mara Phone had already commenced rolling out the technology.

The new cashless payment system will see the 146 moto co-operatives across the country equip their fleet with GPS-enabled devices that calculate distance covered and the fare which will allow regulation of prices.

This could also reduce the common haggling for fares between taxi-moto riders and passengers often blamed for overcharging trips.

The development could further edge the country towards its cashless ambitions owing to the popularity of the mode of transport and frequency of use.

Only motorcyclists operating in provinces are exempted from meters for now but are expected to use cashless payment for trips.

As was the case prior to halting their operations, passengers will be required to have a piece of cloth to wrap their heads before putting on a helmet to reduce physical contact with the protective gear which is shared by passengers.

RURA is also urging passengers who can afford their own helmets to procure them for use when using the common means of transport.

Maintenance of hygiene measures such as sanitizing hands and helmets were also highlighted in the RURA directive as well as social distancing in parking locations. Face masks also remain mandatory for both passengers and riders.

Resumption of moto operations is expected to greatly improve transport operations across the city with the means is largely preferred for its convenience, flexibility and affordability in comparison to cabs.

With moto operators soon to resume work, about 1,000 of them have been tested for Covid-19 as the baseline, in a move government says is to ensure there is no vulnerability.

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