Effective August 15, Saturday, Rwanda will flag off compulsory adoption of a metered payment system for Motor-taxi transport.
Passengers using motor-taxi are expected to begin paying using their mobile phones for distances also measured by a gadget installed onto the motor-taxi.
No more time-wasting negotiations between operator and passenger.
According to the developers of this system, drivers will earn more by making more trips in the time saved. The income recorded by the Meters will enable drivers to get Credit Scores and get loans.
The installed GPS-enabled gadgets automatically calculate distance and generate the transport fee based on rates prescribed by RURA. Passengers and Drivers will not need to spend time negotiating.
It has been part of Rwanda’s targets to switch to a cashless economy but the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have triggered fast-tracking of some of the country’s digitization innovations.
By January 2020, there were 9.37 million mobile connections in Rwanda representing 73% of the total population.
COVID-19 case was first reported in the country in March and the numbers have so far shot to more than 2,200 cases, 8 deaths, 1558 recoveries, 634 active cases all from a total of 319,295 tests conducted.
As the country lifted a stringent lockdown on May 4, the leaders are working round the clock to revive the economy but adhering to strict measures that aim at preventing further spreading of the virus.
The transport sector which provides hundreds of thousands of jobs while facilitating operations of other businesses considered an area of interest because of contacts of persons.
Rwanda Utilities and Regulations Authority (RURA) announced in May that passengers using Motor-taxis are mandated to pay by electronic means using their mobile phones.
According to analysts, Rwanda’s motor-taxi industry annually contributes more than US$1B to the country’s economy.
FERWACOTAMO, an umbrella organization for over 240 motor-taxi cooperatives, says it has 78,000 known members.
The federation says only 7,500 motorbikes have meters representing 29 percent of the total 26,000 motor-bikes in Kigali City.
With the new metering system, the country seeks to digitize the Motor-taxi industry and bring about visibility, accountability and enhanced safety.
The Metering system provides 3 key advantages in the time of Covid-19; Both Drivers and Passengers will be better protected against Covid-19 by avoiding contaminated currency notes and coins.
In case a Passenger or Driver tests positive, the Metering system will help the Government in Contact Tracing.
Passengers will save money on every trip, as Cashless Payments will not be rounded up to the next 100 FRW as is currently the practice with negotiated fares.
Original article on Taarifa Rwanda