Five state-of-the-art buses have arrived as part of the measures to address the issues faced by commuters in public transportation and ensure the smooth functioning of the system. Public transportation has always been a crucial mode of commuting, especially in urban areas like Kigali.
The buses have been acquired by the Jali Transport Company, whose fleets normally operate from Nyabugogo Bus Park to Kimironko Bus Park, Downtown Bus Park to Kimironko Bus Park, Kimironko Bus Park to Batsinda, and other areas in Kigali, have been added
Additionally, the company is expecting 20 more Yutong buses— a Chinese manufacturer of commercial vehicles, especially electric buses, headquartered in Zhengzhou, Henan, with the intent to reduce the queues during peak hours, particularly in the evening.
Innocent Twahirwa, Managing Director of Jali Transport, said, “They are new models that closely resemble the older ones. However, they are incorporating updates and improvements in various aspects such as aesthetics, safety features, comfort and performance.”
Elyse Igiraneza, a bus driver in Kigali, is of the view that this will solve capacity issues and increase the efficiency of the public transport system, arguing that overcrowding and long queues at bus stops have been a major problem.
Igiraneza, who has over 10 years of experience in the public transport domain, revealed that long waiting times for passengers and overcrowding have been major reasons for poor services among bus companies. “Thus, it will contribute to more reliable and efficient services,” he said.
Christian Mugisha Nshuti, a university student and resident of Kigali, echoed the same sentiments: “I expect improved frequency and punctuality of services. I mean people won’t have to wait so long, which normally results in the frustration we have endured for so long.”
“However, the anticipated potential traffic jam is worrisome, and I would recommend that the authorities properly implement strategies, as they always do, to maintain our safety,” he added.
During the 18th National Dialogue (Umushyikirano) in February this year, Patricie Uwase, the Minister of State for Infrastructure announced that over 300 new public transport buses will be introduced in Kigali in the next three months to ease public transport.
As these efforts gain traction, it is hoped that public transportation will regain its status as a reliable and preferred mode of travel for commuters in Kigali.