Rwanda’s Next Generation Public Transport System Will Use GPS and Apps


We are in the age where we are experiencing digital transformation on various legacy infrastructure. Each day, people are finding new ways of making legacy infrastructure better and easier to use using technology. For example, Uber started the wave of hailing cabs from an app.

Rwanda is planning a similar thing but for their transport system. Dubbed the Generation 2, this system is their way to revolutionize the face of public transport. This transition will be done by next year.

In this system, passengers will know which bus stop is the closest, the time when the bus arrives and the route operates.

“We are working with partners who are developing apps that will give people information,” Eng Emmanuel Asaba Katabarwa, Head of Transport at Rwanda Utilities and Regulation Authority (RURA) said. “For example, you will be able to know that the bus I need will arrive in the next ten minutes.”

This is pretty great since it will help passengers plan their journeys accordingly. “For instance, if you are at your workplace and plan to get out and go to the bus stop, we will be able to tell you that the next bus will come in 8 minutes,” Mr Katabarwa said.

There will be a timetable that will be displayed on RURA websites and other institutions which will showcase the arrival times of the buses and the routes.

According to Mr Katabarwa, there are plans to reserve one lane for the public buses. Normal cases will use the other lane.

Generation 2 will use GPS to track vehicle activity and performance.”This time we are using ICT to be able to control the drivers. By using GPS, we will see the activities of the buses and see which one is delaying and call them to ask them why they are delaying the passengers,” he said.

This is actually pretty cool and should be the norm for 2019. We have seen this technology been deployed by the likes of Uber, Little Shuttle and SWVL and it only needs to be implemented by governments in their public service systems.