It is no coincidence that on World EV day, a partnership between the City of Kigali and green e-mobility public bicycle sharing system GURARIDE blossomed to unveil its shared bicycle scheme. This move is anticipated to reduce carbon emissions and reduce Kigali’s dependency on automobiles.
This bicycle sharing scheme is expected to operate in two designated corridors of the city and plans to generate green employment opportunities and improve health standards.
The Minister of Infrastructure (Kigali), Claver Gatete says non-motorised transport plays a key role in Rwanda’s transport system.
He also said: “Non-motorised transport (NMT) provides basic mobility, affordable transport for both people and goods, access to public transport by providing last-mile connectivity, as well as significant benefits for public health and recreation.”
According to Gatete, this is an opportunity to provide cheaper transport options for short distances and achieve a zero-pollution mode of transport. “In the national transport policy, recently approved by cabinet in April this year, the government aims at providing safe, high-quality, and universally accessible facilities for walking.”
Project Manager, Pamela Umuhoza, said the cost of the bikes is still up for discussion. The Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and proprietor operators would be announcing this soon.
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Umuhoza also said, when addressing concerns of potential accidents for the consumer, “we are working with different institutions such as the police and ministry of infrastructure to make sure that everyone who uses our bicycle uses cycling lanes. We are also working with different insurance institutions to come up with a visible plan adding to what we have in place”.
She told The New Times (Rwanda): “More than 300 people have downloaded our app, with a total of 80 bicycles, we will be able to satisfy our clients. However, we are also going to have electronic bikes in the next phase which will help people ride in the hilly areas of the country.”
The plan is to roll out this bike scheme across the nation and throughout the continent.
Founder of GURARIDE, Tony Adesina, commented: “To us, the question was never if Africa was capable of achieving greater heights and becoming a true Giant; the real question was if there were true visionaries /countries willing to put in the work (policies, infrastructure implementation, change of mindset by its citizens) in order to get the job done.”
Adesina also mentions the importance of working with visionary leaders who see Africa’s role in leading the innovation of transport. “A solution for Africa by Africans that’ll help cut down high pollution rate (carbon emission) alongside provide affordable last-mile transport for the general public finally hits the streets of Rwanda after the successful launch of GURARIDE Rwanda public share scheme (a nationwide solution) in partnership with the Government of Rwanda (City of Kigali and other districts).”
The Ministries in Rwanda need to raise and wave their flag high. They deserve the applaud because supporting and endorsing a project like this is something to be extremely proud of.