The Rwanda Utility and Regulatory Authority (RURA) and AC Group, a local IT company, have officially launched the use of smart cards for transport around the City of Kigali.
Speaking at the launch of the project on Tuesday, the Managing Director of AC group, Patrick Bucyana, said that they have just completed an 8-month pilot phase to ascertain whether the cards are effective.
“During the pilot phase, we tested what solutions fit Rwanda’s transport system and that’s how the cards are tailored. We are currently working with Kigali Bus Services but we have started talks with other licensed transport operators,” Bucyana said.
He mentioned that companies like Royal Express and Rwanda Federation of Transport Cooperatives are also likely come on board.
“The launch of the use of cards to pay for transport fees is in line with the government’s vision to support a cashless economy,” he said, adding that 25,000 cards are currently available.
At least 100,000 cards are to be produced before this year ends. Each card costs Rwf 13,000 for 200 trips. However, this is just a Christmas offer. Passengers will be able to top up their cards using mobile money, airtel money and tigo cash.
The director of transport at RURA, Emanuel Asaba, said that the project will contribute towards having a more effective and efficient transport system in the city.
“It has been very hard for us to know how much buses operate on a particular route but the launch of these cards will enable us to have information on how many buses operate in Kigali,” Asaba said.
He noted that using cards will solve the delays which have been caused by looking for changed money between passengers and conductors.
The chairman of KBS, Charles Ngarambe, said that the new system of using cards will solve cases of fraud among bus drivers who have been printing and selling more transport tickets to passengers.
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