RURA's Reponsibilities in road transport Regulation

  1. Road Transport 

 a. Overview

In line with the public transport policy and strategy adopted by the Cabinet in October 2012, RURA has conducted different reforms aiming at restructuring and improving road transport service delivery.

The Authority developed a good number of tertiary legislations in terms of regulations and guidelines such as those for public transport operation, upon which tremendous transformation in the road transport sub-sector were achieved:

  • The number of licensed road transport operators is still increasing;
  • Road transport operators were grouped into companies and cooperatives;
  • ICT is being applied in road transport;
  • Reorganization of public transport into operational zones and corridors;
  • Complaints handling in road transport;
  • Improvement in service delivery by road transport operators;
  • Speed governors now mandatory for public transport vehicles, both for passengers and goods.

 b  RURA Role

The regulation of road transport is mainly performed through the department of transport in collaboration with other departments such as the department of Legal and Economic Regulation, Media and Consumer Affairs and Innovation and Cybersecurity. It has the following responsibilities:

  • Preparing the recommendations for the strategic plan of the road transport;
  • Developing the sub sector’s regulatory policy; 
  • Initiating and taking part in the elaboration of strategic plan of the sector;
  • Working with Traffic Police and other stakeholders to organize the sector;
  • Collect and publish relevant information relating to road transport;
  • Setting tariff on the regulated transport services; 
  • Handling customer’s complaints;
  • Issuance of authorizations and licenses

1.1. Passengers Bus and Mini Bus Transport 

a. Overview

In transportation of persons, there are two types of licenses issued namely local and cross boarders’ licenses. To obtain an operating license from RURA, operators have to fulfill the requirements as stipulated by law and regulations, and have to comply with the license requirements.

RURA’s target is to have in place companies and transport cooperatives with better quality of buses working in an organized manner in the city and across the country. One of the most important interventions that brought development in the transport sector was the transition from the small mini-buses to the state of the art buses that are being used today.

Achievements in passengers’ bus transport are summarized as follow:

  • Enlarging the route network;
  • Monitoring of Transport services offered to Students during the beginning and end of academic term;
  • Passengers were educated on their rights and obligations and consumer forum talking about public transport was organized and held;
  • To Ensure compliance with regulations governing passenger bus and minibuses services and regular inspection are conducted in the City of Kigali and upcountry;
  •  Driver Vocational Cards (DVCs) launched to monitor behaviors of public transport drivers;
  • Electronic Ticketing Systems for inter–city buses, Mobile phone-based Booking Systems, Automated Fare Collection System use in the City of Kigali buses, Free wifi internet in Kigali City Buses and Internet services in Taxi parks are some of the IT based initiatives that has mordernised public transport.

b. RURA Role

The role of RURA has mainly been of monitoring operator’s practices, making a follow-up on the passenger vehicle inspections, contributing to public transport fares setting and ensuring development of passenger buses transport by setting regulations and guidelines while also providing technical guidance.

1.2. Transportation of Goods Services

a. Overview

In the transport of goods services, license is issued to both companies and cooperatives as well as individual operators. RURA has put in place various activities that are still stimulating the increase of the number of licensed individual / companies and cooperatives. Some of them includes public campaigns to encourage the concerned operators to comply with the regulations in place and enforcement measures taken against the non-licensed operators and organizations.

b. RURA Role

RURA established effective mechanisms of regulations governing the transport of goods, and the authority has the responsibility of:

  • Establishing effective mechanisms of regulation of the transport of goods;
  • Contributing in elaboration of transport of goods policies and other by-laws related to goods transport;
  • Setting up goods transport routes and manage them;
  •  Monitoring the operator’s practices; 
  • Creating a good environment for transport of goods services; 
  • Contributing in fixing goods transport fares. 

1.3. Motorcycle Taxi Services

a. Overview

To tackle with pertaining problems in getting an operating authorization for motorcycle cooperatives members, new regulation was put in place which allow individual operators to apply for authorization directly with the requirement of being a cooperative member.

Soon motorcycles taxi service operating license will be issued to companies and cooperatives which operate professionally, and individual authorization will be issued to individual cooperatives members. 

RURA is also in process of setting motorcycle service tariff and availing license and authorization application online via IREMBO platform.

RURA encourages ICT usage in motorcycle taxi transport for improving service delivery, security and operator profitability. It also monitors motorcycle operators for compliance with the regulations governing this professional. 

b. RURA Role

RURA has set regulations on motorcycle transport services in order to ensure fair competition, service sustainability and reliability.

1.4. Taxi Cab Services 

a. Overview

Following the adoption of Rwanda’s Public Transport Policy and Strategy adopted by the Cabinet in October 2012, there was a need to create awareness among operators about the policy and what was packaged therein. It is in that context that RURA conducted countrywide sensitization campaigns about operating under Companies or Cooperatives and their related benefits. After these sensitization campaigns, authorization to individuals was stopped and replaced by licensing only Companies and Cooperatives.

The number of licensed taxicabs operators is still increasing in different districts of the country. The districts outside Kigali City have fewer taxicabs because of the lesser population which does not attract taxi services as the City populations do. Since then, Taximeters were officially launched and the number of taxi cabs fitted with taximeters is still increasing. 

b. RURA Role

RURA has set regulations for taxi cabs operators and set tariffs for ordinary and airport taxi cabs. it ensures also that taxi cabs operators comply with the regulations, license obligations and other laws in place.

1.5. Car Rental Services

a. Overview

Enforcement mechanisms of public transport regulations together with sensitization campaigns carried out by RURA to encourage many service providers to operate rental services under companies or cooperatives, has resulted into an increased number of licensed companies/cooperatives.

b. RURA Role

RURA emphasized on the development of car rental services Regulations by identifying and harmonizing applicable standards that are used in the country.

1.6. School Buses Transportation Services

a. Overview

After identifying gaps in students’ transportation, plans were put in place to offer transport services to students for their safety. In the process, bus operators were encouraged to invest in pupils’ transportation services and licensed operators are still increasing. 

To establish a safe and efficient unified system of transportation responsive to the needs of eligible students and to guide the provision of school transportation, students’ transportation services have been organized to serve the following core objectives:

  • To ensure that all road users can identify easily school buses and give them the due attention;
  • To save both time and money wasted by parents who always drop students at their respective schools using their private vehicles;
  •  To facilitate low income earners to access the affordable student’s transportation services as compared to private vehicles;
  • To improve the safety of pupils by maintaining higher vehicle standards for school buses;
  •  To facilitate schools’ administration and parents to know the status of students’ transportation system.

b. RURA Role 

RURA set rules and regulations in school bus transportation and campaigns are still underway to encourage more investors to join the business.

 1.7. Driving Schools

a. Overview

In a bid to improve the service delivery in driving school service, driving schools were requested to register to IREMBO platform. This contributed in combating fraud related to non-compliant driving schools and facilitating driving permit candidates to access services online.

Periodic and consistent inspections and enforcement of regulations and monitoring of both theory & practical exams for driving schools contributed to the raising of performance.

b. RURA Role

In driving schools RURA has the responsibility of:

  • Establishing effective mechanisms of regulation of Driving Schools; 
  • Preparing the plan of activities and budget;
  • Contributing in elaboration of policies and other by-laws related to Driving Schools operations; 
  • Preparing licenses for driving school operators;
  •  Monitoring the operator’s compliance with the license obligations; 
  • Monitoring the operator’s practices;
  •  Creating good environment of Driving School services; 
  • Working with Driving Schools associations and operators; 
  • Managing Driving Schools database. 
  • 2.  Enforcement  in public transport

 Given the law Law Nº 09/2013 of 01/03/2013 establishing the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), giving the Regulatory Authority the powers to impose sanctions on the regulated public utilites incase of violation of regulations governing their operations;

 The Regulatory Authority ensures that all public transport operators comply with the regulations, license obligations and other laws in place. It is in that context that field inspections are always organized and those found breaching license requirements are warned and later penalized in case they remain adumant.