The transport sector is a significant segment of Rwanda’s economy. Therefore, there is need to put in place a solid and efficient regulatory foundation for the sector. The law establishing RURA gives it a mandate to ensure that transport services are available throughout the Country to meet, in transparency, all reasonable demands of all natural persons and organizations. It also ensures that the interests of both present and future beneficiaries of transport services are catered for and that utility providers comply with laws and regulations in force.
How does RURA regulate public transportation in general?
In order to improve transport services in the country, security of passengers and management of all transport operations, RURA encourages operators in transport sector to work under companies/cooperatives. This has been achieved in passenger road transport and driving schools while the process to mobilize waterways and Goods transport operators is underway. Based on the above mentioned status, licensing is done in two categories which include:
• Authorization issued to Individuals
• Licenses issued to Companies and cooperatives.
RURA also regulates public transportation by
· using the regulatory framework in place;
· licencing the service providers;
· ensuring that the operators have the capacity to carry out their business;
· acting as a mediator between conficting stakeholders;
· playing an advocacy role on behalf transport service providers;
· being an eye of the Government in achieving its goals.
How does RURA regulate public road transportation?
The Law establishing RURA gives the Authority the mandate to regulate transport sector. It is in this regards that RURA has developed a number of regulations to organize transport services in the country. RURA regulates public transport by fixing the minimum quality of transport services offered by public transport operators to passengers. Such quality of service is determined by the following parameters: safety, comfort and convenience, availability and affordability levels.
To accomplish this mega task, RURA issues the following licenses to whoever wishes and is qualified to deliver services within the Republic of Rwanda:
- License for Goods Transport Operators;
- License for Local Public Bus Transport Companies/Cooperatives;
- License for Motorcycle Transport Cooperatives;
- License for Car Rental Transportation;
- License for Driving Schools;
- License for Taxi Cabs Companies/Cooperatives;
- License for Waterways Transporters;
- License for Freight Forwarders.
How does the Regulator fix the transportation tariffs?
Ensure sufficient revenues to cover the justified costs for sustainable service provision and protecting consumer interests.
What has been done to improve access to public transport for rural areas in road transportation?
Extension of public transport to the rural areas is still a big challenge for RURA because there are still a few areas which are not frequented by public transport vehicles or whose frequency is still very low. However, with the establishment of public transport regulations, the market has become more predictable and thus allowing more investors to invest in the sector.
The increase in intercity public transport companies has enabled rural areas between the served towns to have improved access to public transport. It is also anticipated that in the near future, new entrants into public transport will be advised to ply the non-serviced routes so as to allow rural areas to have more access to public transport.
How does RURA regulate Waterways public transportation?
RURA regulates waterway transport by fixing the minimum quality of waterway transport services offered by waterway transport operators to passengers. Such quality of service is determined by the following parameters: safety, comfort and convenience, availability and affordability levels.
To accomplish this mega task, RURA issues waterway transport of persons’ licenses to whoever wishes and is qualified to deliver transport of services inland waters with in the Republic of Rwanda.
Guidelines that govern how waterway transport services offered have been published. Efforts are being made to ensure its full implementation..
How does the Regulator fix Waterway transportation tariffs?
Due to the fact that waterways transport regulation has just been introduced in Rwanda, RURA has not yet started fixing travel fares on Rwandan waterways. However, when time reaches, with the help of waterway transport operators, RURA shall collect information on all components of the cost of waterway transport service and the distances (nautical kilometers) of each of the routes plied by marine vessels on Rwandan water bodies. A meeting between waterway transport operators, passenger association representatives and RURA officials shall convene to determine the average cost of transport per nautical kilometer.
After getting the unit cost of waterway transport, a profit margin of 10% shall be added to get the fare per nautical kilometer. It is from this fare per nautical kilometer that the fare per person shall be determined and then published.
It should be noted that the fare that is fixed by RURA is a fare cap which implies that transport operators can slightly reduce the fare if they are able to operate below the calculated average cost of transport service.
It is also noted that this system of fixing the transport fare allows the operators to compete on the quality of service offered to the passengers since the operators operate on a fixed fare. It also encourages them to reduce their operating costs so as to maximize profits.
What has been done to improve access to public transport for rural areas for waterway transportaion?
Most waterway transport services are offered within rural areas to connect villages that are separated by in water bodies. It is for this reason that RURA has been working hard to put up measures that will make the business of waterway transport look more attractive to investors so that they can invest in waterway transport and thus improve people’s access to waterway transport.