Taxi cab drivers in Rwanda have been given a possibility to drive brand new cars, which comes with a boost in customer care and an opportunity to save money they have been using in servicing second-hand cars.
On July 28, Bank of Kigali made this possible where, in partnership with Yego Innovation Ltd and Rwanda Motors , drivers are given special loans at a decreased interest rate of 16% from 19% to be paid in a period of six years.
The event to launch this partnership saw BK handing over the Rwf 15 million three Suzuki Ertiga 7-seater to taxi drivers at Bank of Kigali headquarters.
“Taxi cabs in service here are over 22 years old; they consume too much fuel and their servicing is quite expensive. They also pollute our environment,” Diane Karusisi, Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Kigali said.
“Taxi drivers need cars that can serve clients from all walks of life because they offer a comfort everyone would need. The cars in this partnership fulfill all conditions since they are brand new. This is a relief for taxi cab drivers also because the cars are fuel-efficient,” Karusisi said.
“This is an excellent offer to taxi drivers. We have been using old cars, as old as 25 years. But we have now been allowed to drive brand new cars,” Parius Fikili, a taxi driver said while commending BK for making it happen.
“I encourage my fellow taxi cab drivers to seize this opportunity with both hands.”
To examine how the car will fit on the local transport market and to calculate loan recovery possibility, Karusisi said that BK used the data generated by Yego cabs meters. The data show, among others, the mileage per day and corresponding revenues.
“The Suzuki Ertiga brand car gives a mileage of 16 kilometers per liter, which is roughly double what the drivers got from their old cars. Since they are new, the vehicles require minimal maintenance and adhere to the emission standards. If the entire fleet of old taxi cabs could be replaced, it would reduce the fuel required by half, thereby saving precious foreign exchange, while increasing the earnings of each driver. We would also be breathing in cleaner air,” Yanick Camerman, Rwanda Motor limited Managing Director said.
“Suzuki is willing to consider special pricing of Rwanda if we can commit to purchasing the Suzuki Ertiga cars in reasonable volume.”
According to Karusisi, “Rwanda being an excellent hub for conferences and events, transport facilities need to be available and conveniently offering a world-class experience. By offering this facility, we are confident that as more taxi drivers acquire these loans, we will contribute to making Rwanda a tourism hub through convenient transport.”