Jan 20, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Rwanda boda boda riders protest against cashless system, high meter charges

Officials at Rwanda’s Transport Authority are back to the drawing board to reconsider fees associated with the cashless transition after commercial motorcyclists reported losses.

Motor taxi operators in the capital Kigali protested high fare meter fees and a hike in insurance premiums on Thursday, saying it has resulted in lost business.

The government this month announced the migration of all fleets of the Motorcycle transportation services mandates the cashless payment system, which requires operators to install and use GPS-enabled fare technology that enables automatic calculation of distance traveled and fare settlement.

Operators transfer a margin of 10 percent of its earnings to YEGO Innovision Ltd, a subsidiary of a Singaporean company that is to It is licensed to provide the technology, while another part goes into paying the fees for the transaction in a linked payment system facilitated by telecoms and banks.

The government is betting to the cashless system to streamline urban mobility as it effectively ends passenger-to-passenger haggling, but it has also presented an opportunity to formalize the sector, which attracts more than 30,000 operators from the capital Kigali and secondary cities.< /p>

But operators who came together to protest the mandatory use of meters, which have been in effect since Jan. 7, say it has caused operating costs to continue skyrocketing Bills that rose after insurance companies tripled annual insurance coverage a year ago.

Coverage increased from $62.9 to $177 in most cases as insurance companies moved to cover high costs associated with compensating victims of accidents.

Motorbike operators who spoke to The EastAfrican say their misery is compounded by ever-volatile gas station prices, which have been rising since September, up from $1.2 per liter of gasoline in December from $1.06 during a liter of diesel went from $1.03 to $1.1.

“Now the meter fees are taking away the small margin of profit that was left after paying all those big bills plus taxes , royalties and union dues, among others,” complained Manasseh Gasana, a Kigali-based commercial motorcycle operator Kigali on Thursday, where they staged peaceful protests that briefly blocked road traffic as they sought authorities’ attention .

The Rwandan Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), which regulates the transport sector, has not commented on the matter, but sources told The EastAfrican that officials at the Transport Bureau held an emergency meeting with motorcyclist representatives and pledged to address their grievances.

“We agreed on a one-week period to review motorcyclists’ claims about high meter charges and related losses so that they can be repaired. Concerned agencies will revise the formula based on motorcyclists’ needs,” said Daniel Ngarambe, head of FERWACOTAMO, the governing body of commercial motor taxi cooperatives.