Fuel Shortage Halts Transco Buses in Kinshasa, DRC

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The capital city is feeling the brunt of the absence of buses from the state-owned transportation company, Transco. Due to a fuel supply issue by the government, the company, which provides affordable transportation for Kinshasa residents, is struggling to keep its vehicles running. The matter was even discussed during a cabinet meeting over the weekend, but the crisis remains unresolved.

Transco, a bus company in Kinshasa, typically operates 250 buses per day, but recently, only a few dozen have been able to leave its depot. However, the government disbursed some funds over the weekend, allowing the company to put 110 buses into operation, according to one of its officials.

Customers felt the impact on Monday. Columns of schoolchildren flooded the city’s boulevards in the morning, while civil servants crammed into makeshift buses commonly known as “death traps.” The situation has proven lucrative for motorcycle taxis, which have doubled their fares.

While the shortage of fuel is a key issue for Transco’s buses, the problems run deeper. The government is supposed to provide nearly a million dollars each month to the company for fuel subsidies and spare parts. These funds are intended to compensate for the losses incurred by Transco, as it offers its services at prices 4 to 6 times lower.

However, for several months now, the government has failed to provide these subsidies. Additionally, Transco has not received the $1.7 million in compensation it is owed for transporting non-paying passengers, such as military personnel, police officers, and Red Cross members, over the past two years.


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