The government of Rwanda in partnership with Yego Global Motors have reintroduced the use of smart meters targeting motorcycles commonly known as moto-taxis almost a year after it was suspended. The smart meters had been stopped after complaints by drivers and passengers that the costs were prohibitive.
The government of Rwanda came up with the smart meter initiative to provide enhanced safety, security, accountability and transparency in the motorcycle transport sector.
The smart meters calculate distance, waiting minutes of the ride and process the cost of the ride. They automatically generate fare after a passenger is dropped off.
With the revised costs, passengers will now be charged $0.29 for the first two kilometres and $0.10 per kilometre for the rest of the journey. Beyond 40 kilometres, the tariff changes are $0.18 per kilometre.
According to statistics, only 30% of taxi drivers are using smart meters in the City of Kigali. However, the government of Rwanda has announced that all Kigali-based riders will not be allowed to work without smart meters after January 7th.
Although motorcycles have grown to become an integral part of the transport sector in Africa, they remain largely unregulated. Its growing potential has attracted private investors keen to bring order into the industry and reap huge profits in return. Last year December, Google announced it invested an undisclosed sum from its Africa Investment Fund in Ugandan bike-hailing start-up, Safeboda.
Kenya alone has a total of over 1.6 million registered motorcycles growing with an average of 16,500 units imported per month into the country. Motorbike riders in Kenya have often been blamed for causing accidents with many lacking licenses and insurance cover.