There are 1147 functioning Taxi Cabs in Kigali. The average Taxi is 22-years-old and unfortunately, most of them are not in good condition. These old Taxis pollute the environment, consume more fuel, and cost more to and run and maintain. This means Taxi Cab Drivers earn less than they should. The country also imports and utilizes a large amount of fuel, which leads to air pollution, in what is otherwise a lush, green, and mountainous nation.

Traditionally, second-hand cars that are 15 years or older have been imported and used as Taxi Cabs. There is a long-standing belief that these cars are more affordable and that for most Taxi Drivers, it is impossible to own a “zero kilometer” car.

“Well, today this has changed. YEGO in partnership with Bank of Kigali is pleased to announce the launch of the first batch of BRAND-NEW, 7-seater Suzuki Ertigas. These 3 new vehicles will history today, as this is the first time ever that Taxi Drivers in Rwanda have been able to purchase zero-kilometer vehicles!” said Karanvir Singh, CEO of YEGO Innovision Limited.

The Ertigas give a mileage of 16 km per liter, which is roughly double of what the Drivers got from their old cars. Since they are new, the vehicles require minimal maintenance and adhere to the latest emission standards. If the entire fleet of old Taxicabs could be replaced, it would reduce the fuel required by half, thereby saving precious foreign exchange, while increasing the earnings of each Taxi Drivers. We would also be breathing in far cleaner air.

“This was made possible because of the Meter (ICFM) fitted in the Taxi Cabs. With the Meter in YEGOCABS, YEGO was able to record every trip and the revenue generated by the three drivers on a daily basis. This data was then worked on by the team at the Bank of Kigali, who then worked out the repayment tenure and monthly repayment. Rwanda being an excellent hub for conferences and events, transport facilities need to be available and conveniently offering a world-class experience. By offering this facility, we are confident that as more taxi drivers acquire these cars, we will be contributing to making Rwanda a tourism hub through convenient transport. ” Said Dr. Diane Karusisi, Bank of Kigali CEO.

Rwanda Motors has been instrumental in providing the new vehicles and was able to secure special pricing for the Ertigas and has promised a tailor-made after sales and support package to keep the Taxis in good running condition.

“Suzuki is willing to consider special pricing for Rwanda, if we can commit to purchasing the Ertiga in a reasonable volume” anchored Yanick Camerman, Rwanda Motors Managing Director.

COVID-19 has had a severe impact on many businesses and the transport sector is no exception. With the absence of tourism, people working from home, and the stay-at home restrictions, revenues for Taxi Cabs have fallen by over 70%. There is an urgent need to look at the earnings of the Taxi Drivers and rationalize the number of Taxi Cabs, so that Drivers can earn enough to feed their families.