Rwanda: Unlicenced Seven-Seater Taxis No Longer Allowed in Kigali

By Moise M. Bahati

The government has terminated a directive that allowed owners of seven-seater vehicles to use them to ferry passengers without a transport operator licence after introducing new changes in Kigali’s public transport.

The move, which was announced in early October, allowed the owners of unlicenced seven-seater cars to carry passengers at a negotiated fare and without paying taxes.

It was a temporary measure introduced to deal with shortage of buses and long queues at bus stations but the government has now taken further long-term measures to fix the issues in public transport in the City of Kigali, according to Minister of Infrastructure Jimmy Gasore.

He said the government’s latest intervention, especially the move to buy 200 buses and provided them at a subsidised price for potential investors, would help fix the woes in public transport in the long-run.

The owners of the unlicenced seven-seater vehicles did not pay taxes and “we did not consider them as businesspeople,” Gasore said.

“It was a temporary move meant to fix the gap in public transport and we communicated that,” he said, adding that those who want to continue as public transport operators should now get the licence for taxis.

According to the new guidelines, which will take effect on December 15, individuals interested in investing public transport can now apply for a licence.

A cooperative, company or individual who owns a bus that meets the requirements for public transportation in the City of Kigali will be allowed to operate after getting a licence from Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority.