ZUPCO Looking to Add 500 Kombis To Ease Transport Blues
12 May 2020
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Strict adherence to social distancing guidelines has severely affected Zupco’s carrying capacity under lockdown level 2 forcing commuters to wait for transport to and from work.

A survey conducted in Harare by The Herald on Friday revealed that commuters were spending more than two hours on average waiting for transport.

Zupco is the sole public transporter after Government implemented a raft of measures aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus, which included the banning of kombis and unregistered conventional buses from operating during the lockdown period.

The situation has since pushed the parastatal to cast its net wider and invite more operators to join the Zupco franchise.

Government has since eased the conditions to allow licensed private conventional buses to resume operations in towns.

Inter-city travel is still banned.

Zupco acting chief executive Mr Evaristo Madangwa conceded that they were struggling to effectively service the urban routes and were looking to double kombis under the Zupco franchise.

“We have 507 conventional buses and 500 commuter omnibuses (kombis),but they have not been enough to match the demand because the buses are not carrying to                                                                                   capacity.

Conventional buses are carrying 32 people per trip while kombis are managing nine,” Mr Madangwa said.

He said negotiations with private transporters were already underway with changes to the biting transport shortages expected soon.

“We are working to add another 500 kombis and more conventional buses to ease the pressure on the fleet servicing passengers currently,” he said.

Mr Madangwa said by end of next week the number of buses and kombis should have significantly increased.

The Zupco expansion strategy comes at a time when kombi operators have sent a distress call to Government saying they are suffering financial strain.

-State Media