New Zupco buses come to Bulawayo Mr Evaristo Madangwa

Chronicle Reporter 

FIVE of the 39 new Zupco buses which were commissioned recently are coming to Bulawayo to service urban routes.

This comes in the wake of Government slashing fares by 50 percent resulting in fares for most urban routes being reduced to 50 cents a trip. 

In an interview yesterday, Zupco acting CEO Mr Evaristo Madangwa said Bulawayo buses will be delivered  between today and tomorrow.

“I’m not looking at the actual figures at the moment but roughly four or five buses have been allocated to Bulawayo, two to Gweru, one bus to Kwekwe and another to Masvingo. Due to the fact that Harare is a big city, about 14 or 15 buses have been allocated to service its routes.

Mr Madangwa said the bus company was working flat out to ensure that all urban routes have enough buses to meet demand for transport. 

“We understand that some suburbs are yet to be serviced by Zupco buses and we are appealing to the commuting public to be patient as we work out the logistics to increase our fleet,” said Mr Madangwa. 

He said in some suburbs they will replace the buses which have withdrawn from the routes as they want as many commuters as possible to enjoy the benefits of mass public transport.

 “ I want to take this opportunity to appeal to the commuting public to avoid overloading as doing so puts their lives at risk,” said Mr Madangwa.

Meanwhile, taxi operators in Bulawayo are meeting today for a new fares indaba following the increase in the prices of fuel that was effected on Tuesday.

Speaking in a telephone interview yesterday, Bulawayo Public Transport Association (BUPTA) spokesperson Mr Keeper Ndlovu said the operating environment had become harsh and unsustainable hence the decision by the operators to meet and deliberate.

He said the association had not come up with new fares yet although some operators had reviewed fares upwards following the fuel prices increase.

“As operators, we understand that commuters, our clients have no money and can therefore not afford high fares. Our core business is to ferry people to various destinations across the city at affordable fares,” said Mr Ndlovu.

He said they welcomed the introduction of Zupco buses in urban areas and looked forward to professional co-existence.

“Zupco was there way before us as kombi operators and we hope we will complement each other as our objective of serving the commuting public is the same. We want the commuters to be offered multiple options,” said Mr Ndlovu.

Tshova Mubaiwa Transport Cooperation chairperson Mr Atlas Moyo said his association had not yet come up with new fares.

“We have not yet come up with new fares as we are still deliberating and assessing the situation. We will be able to give a more concrete response after analysing the impact of the new fuel prices,” said Mr Moyo.

Bulawayo City Transit Trust chairperson Mr Daniel Pondo could not be reached for comment yesterday. 

The representives of the taxi associations who spoke to the chronicle distanced themselves from the messages that are circulating on social media claiming that the taxi operators are planning to ground their vehicles in protest against the operating environment.

— @andile_tshuma

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