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Finally, Rwanda’s Taximoto Industry Gets Technology To Revolutionise It

10 Min Read

Passenger vs moto taxi driver. This is how the battle began. “I told you that I was going to pay you Rwf1000,” she told the taxi moto driver who had dropped her home from work on a Tuesday evening. An argument ensued.

“Pay me Rwf1500 or else I won’t let you go,” the moto driver insisted, as both raised their voices near her gate. Fearing an altercation, the passenger gave in, and left with anger and frustration.

This has been a common scenario in the Kigali City for years now. Passengers and moto drivers are often at each other’s necks due to disagreements on the moto taxi fare. 

The good news is that from January 7, 2022, this will be no longer be an issue, thanks to the innovative idea of smart meters being installed on all moto taxis, that was conceptualized by Yego Innovision Ltd, a local ICT company way back in 2016. Yego designed a smart transport system that will eliminate myriad challenges that the transport sector has faced since time immemorial.

How does it work?

An electronic device called a “smart meter” is installed on each moto taxi. The device is then connected to fast speed internet so that it provides accurate distance travelled and exact fare tallied against both time and distance travelled.

The fare, Rwf107/km, has been set by Rwanda Regulatory Authority (RURA). The first 2km are charged fixed fares of Rwf300 and beyond 40km, fee is Rwf187/km. Stop overs are charged Rwf21 per minute.

Jean Pierre Mubiligi, the Project Coordinator at RURA, says this project encountered setbacks from its inception until 2020 when stakeholders decided something must be done.

“We can’t afford to fail again, and we are going to succeed for sure this time,” he told Taarifa.

Initially, the idea came was demonstrated by Yego 2017. The idea was to fix the taximoto industry that was characterized by disorganization by using technology.

Deeper assessment also concluded that the unorganized taximoto industry also posed safety and security threats.

After successfully proving the concept in 2017 by outfitting 900 odd moto taxis, Yego Innovision LTD was awarded a provisional license in 2018 together with Pascal Technologies. 

Taarifa’s investigation learned that their proposal was impressive, but something awful happened.

Sources told Taarifa that Pascal Technologies and AC Group LTD tried to copy Yego’s concept. 

Taarifa investigation also established that, unfortunately, full licenses were issued to both companies in 2019 without thoroughly examining if they had the requisite technical capability.

This caused the project delayed.

Initially, after acquiring their licenses, AC Group LTD would install meters in about 6026 motorcycles and Pascal Technologies LTD would handle 7092 and Yego 4525.

Unfortunately, these companies failed miserably.

The gadgets deployed in 2020, two years after licencing, were inefficient. Their back end was a disappointment and the project crumbled.

They received warnings several times until almost end of 2021 when RURA’s new management decided to suspend their licenses.

After extensive tests conducted by RURA on Yego’s technology, this is what RURA concluded.

“Their system is agile, sophisticated and very efficient. All stakeholders have had enough time to assess their system,” Mubiligi says.  “So far, after many tests, results gave us the confidence that the system works 100%.”

According to Yego Innovision LTD, work on the system began earlier in 2016 and was completed by September 2017.

During the pandemic, Yego Innovation LTD experts had more scenarios to test and improve the technology. It was used by other institutions to provide essential services during the pandemic.

Yego Innovision LTD has now been asked by RURA to install Meters on all 19,000 moto taxis in Kigali.

The deadline is January 7, 2022.

You might want to know, what is it that makes this system efficient and unique? 

Let’s break it down into two, for passengers and for moto taxi drivers.

Passengers Benefits of using the Yego Meter

  1. No more haggling on the fare, save time by pay as per the meter.
  2. Fares are regulated by RURA and calculated based on distance.
  3. Stop waiting for change, go cashless.
  4. Pay the Meter fare digitally by MoMo, SPENN, Centrika etc.
  5. Pay less when you pay cashless.
  6. Avoid getting Covid, by not handling notes and coins to pay fares.
  7. Why pay more during rush-hours, use the Meter instead.
  8. Stop carrying cash and reduce the chance of loss or theft.
  9. Use the Yego App and enjoy convenience at your fingertips.
  10. Ride with confidence, let your friends and family track your trip in real-time.
  11. Get a receipt for every ride on SMS. 
  12. Get a Corporate account, streamline your transportation, reduce costs, and stop having to claim expenses.
  13. Call 9191 toll free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to book a ride.
  14. 9191 can help you get a ride during Curfew and Emergencies.
  15. If the Driver doesn’t understand your language or destination, call 9191 for help.
  16. No smart phone, no problem, just get a Yego NFC Tag to tap and pay.
  17. Left something behind in a Cab? If you used the Meter Yego will retrieve it for you.
  18. Need to get somewhere in a hurry, pair with any available Yego Moto or Cab and get all the conveniences of your App.
  19. For any assistance call 9191 a 24/7 toll free service.
  20. All metered rides are monitored for your safety.

Moto Driver’s Benefits of using the Yego Meter

  1. Drivers receive the Meter, GPS, Holder and Charger free of charge.
  2. Yego pays for the monthly Internet Data for Meter and GPS.
  3. Drivers make more trips in the time saved by not haggling.
  4. Drivers earn a fair fare by charging for the distance travelled.
  5. Drivers earn more with trips from the Call Centre, App and Corporate Accounts.
  6. Drivers receive their share of cashless payments in 60 seconds or less.
  7. Yego’s platform builds credit scores that allows Drivers to access finance.
  8. Yego’s technical training builds digital literacy.
  9. The Meter (ICFM) helps move the Driver from the unorganised to the organised sector.
  10. Drivers have access to daily Micro Finance
  11. Drivers can access accident insurance.
  12. Drivers save fuel and lower risk of accidents by waiting for rides instead of driving around looking for passengers. 
  13. Yego helps track and recover bikes in case they are stolen.
  14. Yego’s facilitates opening of Drivers bank accounts and inculcates the habit of saving.

Conclusion

While Yego solely undertakes this assignment, the other two firms have been given 90 days to revise their technology and when they fail, their licenses will be revoked.

Motorists who have installed the gadgets spoke to Taarifa.

“This is the perfect solution, a passenger doesn’t even bother bargaining,” says Aniseth Munyaneza, a moto driver in Kicukiro. “It is quick, it saves time, it helps us avoid confrontations with passengers,” he adds.

For Abdul Karim Habumurrmyi, the benefits are countless. “Oh, this is a wonderful technology, it will save us from a lot of chaos. First, we will be able to manage our revenues efficiently, but we also will do away with constant fights between the passengers and us.”

Meanwhile, Taarifa spoke to Yego Innovation LTD about their ability to deliver on the assignment as per deadline issued by RURA.

They say the turn up is low and that not all motorcycles will be connected by January 7, unless RURA enforces compliance or increases awareness, otherwise it might take a little longer before all motorcycles are connected.

Most of them had travelled to the country side for holidays, but there is optimism that they will be handled if they show up before the deadline.

 

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