Overwhelming response to Zupco omnibuses

The Sunday Mail

Norman Muchemwa

THE Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco) has received overwhelming responses from commuter omnibus operators who are willing to partner the company to alleviate the plight of passengers being over-charged in most urban routes.

Under the scheme, commuter omnibuses will charge subsidized fares with operators receiving a lump sum over a given period of time, resulting in reduced fares for city commuters.

This initiative comes at a time commuters are being charged between $4 and $10 for a distance of between 15 and 40 kilometers by private transport operators while Zupco is charging between $1 and $2 for the same distance.

Zupco’s acting chief executive officer, Mr Everisto Madangwa, said the response they have received so far is awesome and Harare has registered over 150 commuter omnibuses.

He said the fitness of the commuter omnibuses is of paramount importance as they value the safety of passengers. The scheme is targeting to register 1 000 commuter omnibuses when fully operational.

“The response we have received from omnibus operators is overwhelming. Operators are coming in to register with us and they are happy with the arrangement,” said Mr Madangwa.

“We want to register 1 000 commuter omnibus and 553 will be in Harare and 223 will be in Bulawayo while the remainder will be in other cities. So far we have registered over 150 commuter omnibuses in Harare while negotiations with other operators are in progress.

“We are not only registering commuter omnibus for the sake of registering as we are considering vehicle fitness and proper documentation. This is for the safety of our travelling public.”

The same initiative will be rolled out in Bulawayo this week.

Mr Madangwa said that a batch of 100 buses is expected soon while  another 200 are still in transit.

“Close to a 100 buses will be delivered anytime soon as they are still being processed at entry points but I cannot give the exact delivery date. Another 200 buses are still in transit on their way to Zimbabwe,” he said.

The arrival of the buses will be a major boost to Government’s efforts to alleviate transport woes in urban centres. The same scheme is also expected to be rolled out for rural commuters who are not spared either by high transport costs.