Rwanda: RURA Extends Deadline for Mandatory Use of Meter Readers By Taxi Motos

Rwanda Utilities and Regulations Authority (RURA) has extended the deadline of mandatory use of meters by commercial taxi-motos in Kigali City from June 1 to July 1.

The GPS-enabled tools calculate distance and generate the transport fee instantly.

The decision follows a recent announcement by the regulatory body, that urged all motor riders in Kigali to use meters and also pay using electronic means only.

The directive of using these facilities is in line with ensuring that as motorcyclists hit the road on Monday, June 1 after nearly two months and a half without operation, they will not trigger the spread of Covid-19.

It could also further edge the country towards its cashless ambitions, owing to the popularity of the mode of transport and frequency of use.

Explaining why the deadline was extended, the Head of Transport Division in RURA, Anthony Kulamba said that some taxi moto drivers had already gone upcountry and not all of them could make it back in time, hindering the enforcement.

He said: "After issuing the deadline, we discovered that some riders who used to work from Kigali city had already gone upcountry. Therefore we can't say that some should use those meters when others are not."

Under the Government's directives to contain Covid-19 pandemic, cross-provincial movements were restricted since March 21, and are expected to resume on June 1.

According to Kulamba, the process of installing the GPS-enabled devices also requires enough time.

"Additionally, we discovered that companies installing meters need enough time to finish equipping taxi-mottos that have enrolled for this service," he said, adding that: "This however doesn't have to stop the use of cashless payment means where possible."

So far there are three companies; Yego Moto, Pascal Moto and Mara Phone mandated to equip motor-bikes with meters.

As per FERWACOTAMO, a federation of motorcycle cooperatives in Rwanda, only 7,500 motorbikes have meters. The number represents 29 percent of the total 26,000 motor-bikes in Kigali City.

Country-wide there are approximately 45,000 taxi-motos.

Taxi-moto operators gear-up for resuming operation

Jean Baptiste Ukwizagira, a motorcyclist in Kigali city says that he is eagerly waiting for June 1 to resume work and earn a living again.

"We are happy that we are finally resuming work and being able to feed our families again after this very long period of time under restrictions," he said.

He added that: "I am ready to abide by all set preventive measures to avoid making the matter worse."

The resumption of motorbikes in passenger transport service is expected to greatly boost transport operations across the city, since it is the largely preferred mode of transport due to its convenience, flexibility and affordability in comparison to cabs.

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