Bicycle taxi riders complain of excessive charge

Bicycle-taxi riders in Bujumbura are complaining about the price set by the city’s mayor for the purchase of their number plates. Bujumbura’s mayor has decided that every bicycle-taxi must buy a number plate for BIF 7500 before December 20th 2016.

New number plate to be bought by bicycle-taxi riders

New number plate to be bought by bicycle-taxi riders

‘’The number plate price is too expensive for us to afford,” said one of the bicycle-taxi riders who asked not to be named.

“The decision is not welcome in our group. However, I have to obey the law. I have not yet bought the number plate because it is too expensive, but, I will do my best to respect the deadline,” said one of the bicycle-taxi riders.

The bicycle- taxi riders have recently bought vests for BIF 5000, which was also expensive. “No one can welcome that decision. It drives us more into poverty. But what should we do? We have to obey,” said another bicycle-taxi rider.

Bicycle-taxi riders earn a small amount of money per day. Some of them have already abandoned their profession. «I hope SOTAVEBU president is going to do his best so that the number plate price should be reduced, one rider added, calling on the president of the bicycle-taxi association to reduce the fees.

Emmanuel NIMBONA, the president of SOTAVEBU, the association, does not deny that bicycle-taxi riders have been given a difficult task but they have no choice – the fees aim to reduce disorder on the roads.

«BIF 8000[unlike the official amount which is BIF 7500] is not too much to earn in the 30 days before the deadline,” NIMBONA said. He invited bicycle-taxi riders to start buying the number plates since the deadline is soon to expire.

Christophe Kinshasa, Economic Adviser in Bujumbura City Council, says the decision has been made to apply the article 434 of the rules of the road. “The official price for one number plate is BIF 7500: BIF 6000 for the number plate and BIF 1500 for its fixation on a bicycle”, he says.