Commuters in Kigali are now required to use a cashless public transport card to commute within the city.
Public transport passengers with in Kigali will compulsorily begin using cashless system to pay for transport fares starting with March 2016, but some residents have raised concerns over the new development.
Speaking to this website, Charles Ngarambe, executive chairperson of Kigali Bus Services, said using a smart card will help passengers time that was wasted when they would queue up to buy tickets which was only done using cash.
“The cash system was delays the buses. The use of smart card not only saves time, but also protects the environment and keeps the city clean as we will have gotten rid of paper tickets,” he explained.
Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) says that the new system to ease monitoring of the public transport system and ensure efficiency, a move that is expected to enhance Rwanda’s goal of becoming a cashless society.
The use of technology is not reliable and as you may see there are many uneducated adults who would prefer to use tangible money systems…we are afraid this will be too much for citizen consumption” one of the passengers said.
Emmanuel Asaba Katabarwa, the head of transport department at RURA said that the new system will be gradually develop and residents will be educated on its use.
Three more three companies will be contracted to disseminate the services.
The phase out will be gradual and the initial route that will fully embrace the electronic system is the Kanombe route.
Any passenger leaving Kanombe for Remera, Kacyiru or the city center will only be allowed to board the bus if they have a smart card.
This kind of system had earlier on been introduced two years ago within the city dwellers on an individual convenience but slowly died out and the use of hard cash has been the norm of the daily transport, though some use of electronic payments has been acceptable.
KBS has been at the forefront in embracing the cashless system, but the stakeholders are optimistic the other companies will join in once they have appreciated the advantages.