New public transport buses to be soon available in Bujumbura City

In session of oral questions held in the National Assembly this May 23, the Ministry of Transport has said it has already signed agreements with some companies that want to import buses which will be used in public transport in Bujumbura City.

Passengers in queue waiting for buses in Bujumbura City

Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana has told MPs that an agreement has been signed between the Ministry and a company that will bring new vehicles for the paid transportation of passenger with a capacity of 60 and 80 seats. “These buses will be soon available in Bujumbura and other companies are consulting us so we to let them import buses, too,” said the Transport minister.

He was responding to the concerns expressed by MP Odette Habonimana on the issue of the shortage of public transport vehicles that has been observed in the Burundian capital since the past few months. “The few buses operating in Bujumbura are extremely old. People are forced to spend hours on queues waiting for buses and some young people have opted to walk towards their destinations. All of this hinders people from going about their normal daily activities, “said MP Habonimana.

For her, this situation is the consequence of the measure taken by the Government since 2008 prohibiting the importation of the left-hand drive buses.

To alleviate bus shortage problems, the government has granted “tax exemption from imported new right-hand drive vehicles with a capacity of at least 30 seats for the paid transport of people “.

Bus conductors deem this measure insufficient arguing that the purchasing power of Burundians does not allow them to buy right-hand drive buses as they are extremely expensive compared to left-hand drive ones.