BCC partners with NRZ to tackle traffic congestion

Source: The Chronicle – Breaking news

BCC partners with NRZ to tackle traffic congestion 
Bulawayo Mayor Clr David Coltart

Nqobile Tshili, nqobile.tshili@chronicle.co.zw

BULAWAYO City Council is taking a two-pronged approach to address traffic congestion in the central business district.

Firstly, the council is partnering with the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to use its facilities for public transport, which will help distribute passengers more effectively and ease pressure in the CBD.

The council is also implementing a permit system for bus ranks, allowing specific operators to have designated spots in the CBD for a more controlled and organised system.

However, long-distance bus operators departing for other destinations have complicated the situation, as they have abandoned Renkini Bus Terminus and are picking up passengers from unauthorised areas.

This contributes to congestion and creates an unkempt appearance in the city. Undesignated pick-up points have also attracted vendors and touts, leading to littering and passenger movement control issues.

Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor David Coltart, confirmed that council is collaborating with NRZ to establish a designated rank aimed at tackling the congestion issue.

They are also allowing operators to apply for special consent to use privately-owned premises for bus ranking facilities.

“Council is also working together with NRZ to provide a facility at the NRZ premises to be used by these public transport operators and the facility is set to be opened for use soon. Council has also allowed operators to apply for special consent for use of privately-owned premises within the CBD for bus ranking facilities,” said Clr Coltart.

For city-to-city routes, designated pick-up points must be used, as they have facilities   like toilets and sheds, and are paved.

The council is engaging with public transport operators and reminding them of the designated termini from which they should operate.

“Therefore, there is no reason these buses should find these facilities inadequate. The City of Bulawayo is engaging the public transport operators from time to time to address their concerns and to advise and remind them of the designated termini from which they should operate,” he said.

The council is also enforcing measures, using municipal police and collaborating with the Zimbabwe Republic Police to restore order in the city. They are also engaging directly with bus owners as part of their strategy to achieve a more organised public transport system.

Clr Coltart emphasised the importance of public participation in achieving an orderly public transportation sector.

He said the council carries out awareness campaigns with stakeholders to educate the public on the correct ranks to use.

Joint operations with the police arrest those picking up passengers from undesignated places, and the council has also issued numerous tickets and clamped and towed away vehicles.

Clr Coltart said commuters should use designated bus termini, such as Renkini Bus Terminus for Harare, Mutare, Nkayi, and other rural destinations.

Passengers heading to Plumtree and Kezi can board at Nkulumane Complex Bus Terminus, while those travelling along the Victoria Falls Road route should use Entumbane Complex Long Distance Bus Terminus.