Residents living in Kigali will soon be able to move around the city on electric bicycles.
In a matter of weeks the residents will have the option of moving around the city on sharable bicycles enabled by a mobility app. The bicycles will be docked in different stations around the city.
The stations can be found in Gisimenti, City Centre, Kimironko and other corridors of the city, each having a minimum of five bikes coloured in yellow and blue. The bicycles have already caused excitement.
The innovation was launched by Guraride, a mobility company that seeks to promote non-motorised transport as one of the resource efficient modes of transport that are also environmentally friendly.
The bikes have been in their docking stations for the past two months as Guraride worked on fine tuning the ride sharing App, which is now ready to be rolled out for public use.
Those interested in riding the bicyles will order for one and pay online since the App will be synced with digital payment platforms. A key will be generated after payment and used to unlock the bike.
For the first three months, riders will enjoy the bikes for free as the company does a dry run for the project, after which a certain fee will be charged per ride.
Tony B Adesina, the founder and CEO of Guraride said they needed to design the most adaptable bicycle for the city, as well as working with the city officials on the overall network scheme, which had to taken some time. The use of public bicycle sharing is taking off in Rwanda.
The company had first set July as the date to start operating the rides in the corridors around the Central Business District and in Kisimenti where there are established bicycle lanes, but the time was not enough to complete the app, so it was pushed ahead.
Guraride will be rolling out two models of bicycles "Smart Bikes" and "Electric Bikes," starting with Smart Bikes, while the E-bikes will be introduced at a later stage.
The decision to start with these two corridors was made after carrying out several surveys and analysing where the city has heavy foot traffic as well as existing bicycle lanes, in order to gradually push acceptance of the bikeshare App and using bicycles as a means of transport.
The partnership with the City of Kigali will see Guraride deploy bicycles for the bikeshare programme across the city to make movement from one point to another more convenient and affordable for residents living in Rwanda.
There will be sensitisation programmes for the general public on the importance and benefits of cycling on people's health and the environment as this will reduce the City's daily carbon emissions.
The project will be gradually scaled up to cover the whole country, the plan is to spread to other satellite cities like Musanze, Rubavu, Bugesera and Huye.
Rwandans have demonstrated an affinity to adopting sporting activities as a lifestyle and this method of transportation fits into that profile, according to a survey conducted by the company, which also found out that over 65 percent of students indicated interest in this project.