Rwanda's cashless moto taxis to save time, boost road safety

Sunday March 4 2018

By JEAN-PIERRE AFADHALI
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The metered and cashless moto taxi transport system that could soon be implemented across the country is expected to improve the moto riding experience by saving time for both operators and riders and increase road safety.

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority recently gave Yego Innovation ltd a licence implement the metered-moto taxi project in Kigali, but its full adoption across the country could take time.

The initiative follows the roll out of a cashless payment system in public buses in Kigali city, where passengers use dedicated payment cards.

Yego innovation LTD, which is in other African markets, equips taxi motos with meters that calculate the distance covered in each trip to enable fare-based rides that can also be paid for using mobile money.

The taxis are also installed with GPS devices, which can be used to monitor speed and track vehicles.

Despite the company marking one year of operations in Kigali, the uptake was relatively slow as some motorists were not interested, while other technology companies like SafeMotos and Pascal Tracking Rwanda had shown interest in offering similar services.

In an interview with this paper last week, Karanvir Singh, CEO and managing director of Yego Innovation LTD, said that all taxi motorists will adopt the technology as transport regulator RURA had passed the new regulation.

He added that there will be fines for either driving without a meter or failure to use one. The company said it has installed 630 devices in the pilot project, which is a small number given that there are around 25,000 registered taxi operators in the country, according to the taxi moto federation.

Salomon Bigirimana, acting president of Rwanda federation of taxi moto co-operatives, told Rwanda Today the federation was not involved in the regulation process, which would help taxi operators understand and easily embrace it.

“Yego only engaged individual motorists,” said Mr Bigirimana.

Yego innovation ltd signed agreements with three taxi moto co-operatives in Kigali during its pilot project.

Some of the benefits of the new system include increased revenue for vehicles owners and saving on time for passengers as they do not need to wait around for change.

On security, taxi motos are notorious for being involved in many road accidents, but the new technology can be used to monitor their speed and alert the police.

Rura is yet to announce the new taxi moto regulation.

Rwanda Today understands that when the law becomes effective all moto operators will be given nine months to adopt it. Yego innovation ltd said by March 15, it will have installed 200 more meters on moto taxis and the goal is to install 5,000 a month.