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Government Ends Longstanding Subsidies in Public Transport

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The Government of Rwanda has announced that starting March 16, 2024, it will be ending the subsidies that were previously used to support the payment of tickets for passengers in public transport.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Infrastructure, Dr. Jimmy Gasore, during a press conference held on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, where the new public transport policy of the country was unveiled.

Also present at the press conference were the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Local Government, Musabyimana Jean Claude, and the Mayor of the City of Kigali, Dusengiyumva Samuel.

Minister Dr. Gasore explained that when the covid-19 outbreak occurred, the government implemented a system to assist passengers, and even after the pandemic had subsided, the measures remained due to ongoing issues such as a shortage of buses.

“It was at that point that the government decided to address these issues. Initially, it focused on increasing the number of buses, with 100 arriving in the country and another 100 starting operations. Moreover, as a state, if we identify a shortage in buses, we will supplement them.” Minister Dr. Jimmy Gasore stated.

Minister of Local Government, Musabyimana Jean Claude, informed the public that individuals had been given prior notice regarding the discontinuation of travel subsidies and highlighted that the saved funds would be redirected towards the Girinka program, malnutrition prevention, school feeding programs, and other initiatives.

“It was important for them to prepare for this change. The funds are not being redirected out of the community, but rather utilized within it. We conveyed this information, and they understand that there will not be a net loss for them.” Minister Musabyimana remarked.

The government has confirmed that a portion of the subsidies removed from public transport will now be reallocated to petroleum products.

 In February, Minister Dr. Jimmy Gasore revealed that the Government of Rwanda had invested Rwf 87.5 billion in transport subsidies over the last 4 years.

The dedication of the Rwandan government to improve the public transport system can be seen through the recent introduction of 100 new buses in Kigali City towards the end of last year, with a goal to minimize wait times for passengers.

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