Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has announced new transport reforms for the city of Kigali under a comprehensive roadmap. The six-year plan is expected to kick off in 2020.
The goal is to address the problems bedeviling Rwanda’s transport system, particularly in the capital, while the plan is expected to beef up Kigali’s transport system and create a sustainable road network.
In a report by The New Times, Patrick Nyirishema, the Director-General of RURA, said the agency is looking to have a “well planned and scheduled transport in the city,” adding that RURA is starting a public transport second-generation to address the failures of the first-generation of road reform that was implemented in the city.
This new reform will select new public transport operators, seek to“decongest” the public transport sector by improving efficiency and coordination of routes, improve route planning and service contracts, introduce scheduled service, dedicated lanes and better vehicle mix.
Reports show that inefficiencies in the public transport system have given rise to alternative means of transport such as motorcycles and private cars. Taxi-motorcycles account for 60 percent of the commuter transport used by city dwellers, while buses account for only three percent.
The main roads in Rwanda are in relatively good condition, but during the rainy season, many side roads are passable only with four-wheel drive vehicles. Nighttime driving, particularly outside major cities, is hazardous. Often, roadways are not marked and lack streetlights. Many sections have deteriorated surfaces.
Another report found in the WHO bulletin states that urban areas like Kigali saw frequent violent collisions, sometimes because drivers refused to respect others. In rural areas, where roads are in a far worse condition than those in urban centres, drivers regularly went too fast to maintain control on the uneven carriageway surface.
The transport system in Rwanda centres primarily around the road network. Paved roads lie between the capital, Kigali, and most other major cities and towns in the country. Rwanda is also linked by road with other countries in the African Great Lakes, through which the majority of the country’s imports and exports are made.