The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority has announced change in moto taxi licence fees among a series of new operation models.
The adjustments followed a consultative meeting that convened Motorcycle taxi operators in the City of Kigali, Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA), Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), Police and City of Kigali, November 14.
They include waiving the license fee (Rwf10,000) that all operators were charged every year to be able to operate.
Moreover, the 41 cooperatives were combined into five cooperatives to solve mismanagement challenges.
Of the five remaining cooperatives, two will be located in Nyarugenge district, two others in Gasabo and one in Kicukiro district.
Changes mainly intend to reduce road accidents, to improve health and hygiene of moto taxi operators and to boost their economic growth.
As far as accidents are concerned, the Rwanda National Police reported in 2017 that more than 2,600 traffic accidents were reported nationwide over the course of nine months (January- September).
The mishaps left 345 people injured and 177 dead. Motorcycles contributed 61% to these accidents, compared to 24% for buses.
According to Emile Patrick Baganizi, Director General of RURA, the new decisions will allow moto taxi operators to work in a healthy, more legitimate manner in the city.
“The government has decided that moto taxi operators will themselves be in the leadership and management of these new cooperators including; Managers, and supervisors. The employee will be paid by the government,” Baganizi said.
He pointed out that other officials like employees in charge of security will also be paid by the government.
To make it easier for taxi moto riders to pay their taxes, all tax arrears that they owed the revenue body were cancelled, allowing them to pay the remaining taxes.
According to Prof. Dr. Jean Bosco Harelimana, Director General of RCA, the new changes targets improving economic development of the moto taxi operators, but also proper operation of transport in the city.
“The benefit is that moto taxi operators have been exempted from paying license fees,” Prof. Dr. Harelimana said.
Jonathan Nshimyumukiza, a moto taxi operator, said that changes were “fair and benefiting them.”