The Van transport Association has introduced new coaster vehicles to ease transportation challenges erupted few months ago because of fuel scarcity. It was on the 8th of August, 2022 in the main parking station.
The Van Transport Association has officially launched its operation by bringing 30 out of 50 new transport vehicles in effort to yield solution to long queues that have been observed since petrol started to miss out.
In his speech, Alain Franck Pacinim, General Director of Van Transport, urged the government to serve them fuel first so as to facilitate their activities in Bujumbura city center.
“We ask the Government to support us by providing fuel, despite the lack of petroleum products. We also wish to have a private parking lot for the company”, he said.
In fact, according Van Transport General Director, customers will have to buy receipts which they will give back upon arrival.
The company Van Transport expects to provide more buses of 30 people for public transport. In the days to come, it aims to begin the digitalization of this sector for this 1st company that comes to innovate the sector of public transport
“We’re planning to bring in more than 100 new transport vehicles very soon,” the chairman promised.
In her allocution, the Minister Marie Chantal Nijimbere praised the efforts of the businessmen to accompany the government. She also thanked the investors for their contribution to the improvement of travel in Bujumbura.
According to Marie-Chantal Nijimbere, these new buses will alleviate the problem of rambling queues of passengers that are observed in the city center until late hours.
“The project of the company Van Transport is timely,” said the Minister. It comes to fill the gap in the public transport sector in Bujumbura City which has been challenging for months.
She took the opportunity to call on other investors to get involved in improving the public transport sector.
Nijimbere also appreciated the fact that these new buses brought by the company Van Transport are compatible with new technologies, which will make travel much easier.
A sign of relief, but…
Passengers in the parking lot have welcomed this initiative. They hope that the long queues in the parking lots will decrease. “To get on the buses, you had to spend at least an hour in line. Maybe the situation will improve. It’s a sign of relief,” said Jeanne Kabura met at Musaga park.
However, Joseph Ndayisenga, met at the parking, remains pessimistic about the lack of fuel. “These Van Transport buses do not consume water. How can we hope that the situation will improve? The only viable solution is to make fuel available, because before the long-lasting shortage, we didn’t have any travel problems.
People met at Kanyosha complain about taking long to go to their daily activities.
“Today, it hurts me when I remember that I am going in town, first I have to queue in my quarter for almost two hours, and back I have to queue again from 3 to 4 hours,” said Jean Claude Kubwayo, a Kanyosha resident.
When I am in hurry, he added, I have to pay a taxi which costs me around BIF 1,500 or BIF 2,000 when I am with others. If I am a lone, I have to pay BIF 15,000. “That is too much.
Same story in Northern Bujumbura, Kamenge. Residents cry foul over mornings and afternoons transportation. For them going back is difficult, it costs them around BIF 4,000 if shared with others.
“If I want to be on time, I have to wake up at 6a.m, or else I pay BIF 2,000 for a taxi. Coming back, I have to be on the bus park at 3p.m, if I delay I have to pay around BIF 4,000 and BIF 5,000,” said Christella Mugisha a resident from Gasenyi.
Some minibus drivers and transporters fear losing their jobs because of this new company. They ask for a clear regulation so as not to privilege some and discriminate against others.
Some Bujumbura citizens argued that the Government should tackle the fuel issues to appease the situation.
Bujumbura, the economic capital of Burundi, has been coping with transportation issues due to fuel scarcity across the country.
The story was written by Moïse NDAYIRAGIJE Fellow at Inside Burundi, additional reporting by Espoir Iradukunda, edited and approved for publication by Egide H. Ngenzebuhoro.