The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) has nipped the current disorganized operations of the country’s mass transportation stakeholders, by introducing a systematic registration process that will only countenance cooperative membership for vehicle owners.
Starting March 1 of the year, there will be no longer permits for single applicants, as the directive has set its eyes on a more clear-headed sector whose sober registration will give the regulator greater control.
Hitherto, Rwanda transportation firms did not have to enter into any cooperative concessions, nor necessarily join franchises in order to operate, facts that will now alter as the directive entrenches its force in the law.
Fracois Gatarayiha, the Director-General of RURA foresees this change as a whistle blow on disorganization that characterizes much of the public transportation industry that operates medium-occupancy vehicles, popular in East Africa as matatus, but which Rwanda also designates as taxi vans. In effect, the Director- General and his team will have helped square out all uneven poles and streamline the sector, before other measures that the government is contemplating come to bear on the same.
Transport & transportation in Rwanda: the larger picture
Transport in Rwanda got a boost in 2009 after the country instituted the Rwanda Transport Development Agency(RTDA) whose mandate was to oversee the entire infrastructural segment of transportation improve.
The road network extends between the major cities and branches off from the centrally-located capital, Kigali, and also extends to the larger East Africa Community (EAC), which helps to improve transit connectivity.
RTDA is not just about the infrastructure mandate like constructing new thoroughfares and air facilities, besides boosting the water-navigation means available in the landlocked country. The agency also got a nod to regulate the larger sector which helps to chip in the missing link between advanced infrastructure and that of mass transportation logistics.
RTDA’s latest development is a $69m undertaking that will see the resurfacing of a major thoroughfare from the capital to a neighboring city, as well as, the provision of technical help during the undertaking.
The above is just an illustration of how different agencies are each contributing in its own way to make Rwanda transport sober and functional. Alongside the cooperative premise of RURA in public transport, and RTDA’s impetus in road rehabilitation, the government also plans to incorporate a Light Rail development, the first of its kind from Kigali.