KIGALI, Rwanda, Aug. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Effective August 24, no vehicles will be allowed in the heart of Rwanda's capital Kigali, widely regarded as the cleanest city in Africa.
Except special services vehicles such as ambulances, others are prohibited in the streets of the declared 'Car-Free Zone.'
"Normally, a city is for people not vehicles," said Luben Ahimbissibwe, director of infrastructure in the city. "We want to turn Kigali into a pedestrian-friendly city."
The rapidly growing city of 1.1 million residents has gazetted some streets. However, there will be progressive implementation street by street – eventually covering several areas of the city. Over the past years, all buildings have been required to have underground packing to prepare for the 'Car-Free Zone.'
Ahimbisibwe told KT Press that the decision to do away with city traffic "is to maintain green transport and sustainability of the city."
Within the zones, there will be rest posts with free WiFi Internet services for pedestrians. People will be walking for not more than 500 meters.
Mobility in Kigali has been a priority in the last 15 years. The city set out to connect all suburbs with tarmac roads and drainages. Old fashion mini-buses were eliminated. 3 local bus companies were awarded 5-year contracts to transport more than 500,000 commuters every day.
The companies have the obligation to ensure that city commuters don't spend over 10 minutes at bus stage during rush-hours.
"We want to have all passengers cherish public transport, instead of spending heavily on cabs," said City Mayor Fidele Ndayisaba.
Eventually, the central government intends to roll out the public transport model across the nation. Asian automobile companies Hyundai Youtong have supplied 800 new buses.
The buses have wireless Internet, allowing commuters to keep working, and operators to track their buses.
Meanwhile, Rwanda aims to have 35% of its population living in cities nationwide. In addition to the capital Kigali, the East African landlocked country has plans to build six more strategic secondary cities to allow its 11 million people enjoy urban life.
UN Habitat says the plan bring sustainable development. According to infrastructure ministry, the secondary cities to be built include Muhanga and Huye in South, Rubavu and Rusizi in West, Nyagatare and Musanze from Eastern and Northern Province.
Read full article here: http://ktpress.rw/the-secret-plan-for-kigalis-transport-system-2928/
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SOURCE KT Press