Cab drivers in Kigali are breathing a sigh of relief following government decision allowing them to charge more for their services.
The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) has reacted to months of outcry from cab drivers all of whom operate under only two companies: Yego Cabs and Volkswagen’s Move Ride.
An investigation by The Chronicles published April 3 (READ HERE) showed that incomes for cab drivers had fallen by up to 60% after the arrival of Move Ride and mandatory membership of Yego Cabs.
An Indian-owned firm, Yego Innovation Limited is behind this cab service. Since late last year, all cabs in Kigali except VW’s cabs, are required to be part of Yego Cabs.
More than 850 cabs operate under the firm. Client paid Rwf 1,500 for the first kilometer, and Rwf 500 for each kilometer of the remaining distance.
As clients have celebrated the low rates, cab drivers were slowly going out of business, as our report indicated.
New rates which came into force June 15 will stay the same for the first kilometer. However, clients will now pay Rwf 700 for each next kilometer – a 40 per cent hike.
It was much cheaper to ride in the Volkswagen service. However, the new rates published by RURA apply to both VW and Yego Cabs.
Cab drivers who spoke to The Chronicles said they are yet to determine if the new rates will improve their incomes.
“Am glad RURA listened to our cries and harmonised taxi cab fares, otherwise, I personally was planning to sell my car and probably find another job,” said Mihigo Jean Marie who operates in Giporosa-Remera suburb.
Colleague Patrick Gasana from Sonatube-Kicukiro said: The new rates have been in force for a few days, am yet to see the impact. It still early. Remember we have been operating for many months.”
For Sylvestre Kamanzi at Kisementi-Remera, he also shares the excitement with the others: “The increase is a good thing. We hope it will reach at least Rwf 1,000 soon so that we can survive.”