Route between the city center and the airport for the Bus Rapid Transit | New times

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Kigali city authorities have revealed that the road from downtown to Kigali International Airport will soon be used to pilot the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to reduce congestion.

The BRT is a bus-based public transport system designed to have better capacity and reliability than a conventional bus system.

The BRT system includes dedicated bus routes and gives priority to buses at intersections where buses can interact with other traffic; as well as design features to reduce delays caused by passengers getting on or off buses, or paying fares.

Due to the lack of this system in Kigali, city dwellers complain of traffic jams and long queues while waiting for buses.

Mérard Mpabwanamaguru, the vice-mayor in charge of urbanization and infrastructure of the city of Kigali revealed that the city is currently working with the World Bank on a project to carry out a feasibility study to renovate public transport.

The project, he said, has three components, one of which is dedicated to bus lanes.

“We will build infrastructure / pavements on this route which will be dedicated to large capacity buses to carry large volumes of passengers and thus reduce traffic congestion,” he said.

He said the study to make the City Center-Airport BRT route is underway and the cost has yet to be announced.

The project, he noted, also has a second component that will help reorganize the Nyabugogo transit center.

“We are going to reorganize the Nyabugogo bus fleet to another level. The redevelopment will increase its capacity to accommodate many buses, ”he said.

Officials said they would start by upgrading Nyabugogo bus station over the next two years.

It was previously estimated that 45 billion Rwandan francs would be spent to modernize the bus terminal.

However, the final cost will be revealed by ongoing studies.

There were 2,948 vehicles owned by licensed public bus and minibus companies and cooperatives across the country, most of which carry passengers from or through Nyabugogo bus station to the interior.

There are over 500 buses operating in Kigali city alone according to recent statistics from RURA.

The third part of the project, he added, will be to train the transport sector workforce and city dwellers so that they have the skills to manage and use the infrastructure put in place intelligently.

“A way to ensure smart public transport and a smart city, high technology will be used to ensure that passengers receive updates of bus arrivals, time and available spaces,” the official said.

Cable car project

Mpabwanamaguru added that the study for the cable cars is also underway.

In May of this year, Rwanda and Vuba Corp signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of smart urban mobility solutions in the form of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) / Automated Transit Network (ATN) in Rwanda.

Apart from public transport, he said at least 215 km of paved roads should be built over the next four years to boost the transport sector in the capital.

Pudence Rubingisa, the mayor of Kigali city said that so far the capital had 500 km of paved roads, adding that it was necessary to rehabilitate 2,400 km to make all roads paved in Kigali.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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