The Zimbabwe Passenger Transport Organisation (ZPTO) has written to the Government appealing for the resumption of intercity travel considering the demand created by the opening of schools, with some pupils being weekly boarders and others commuting daily to school.
This comes after the Government announced that intercity travel was only allowed last weekend to ferry learners to school.
ZPTO wrote to the Government through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development.
ZPTO chairman Mr Sam Nanhanga — in the letter addressed to the ministry — said the resumption of intercity travel would aid in getting rid of illegal transport operators taking advantage of the absence of buses on the roads.
“The Zimbabwe Passenger Transport Organisation is kindly requesting for resumption of intercity travel,” he said. “Now that schools have opened, other learners are weekly boarders and others day scholars and a reliable transport system should be in place.
“After the relaxation of this lockdown, intracity and intercity movement have doubled, meaning transport crisis has increased. We also propose to carry only vaccinated passengers and all WHO guidelines to be followed as far as Covid-19 regulations are concerned.
“We will make sure that we put in place systems which will promote safety and sanity, all buses will strictly follow the set out standards. We await to hear from you and please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned should you require further information.”
In a statement issued on Saturday, the police said intercity movement was still prohibited.
“Therefore, intercity travelling by bus operators remains banned unless such operators are doing so to transport school children as stated by the Government of Zimbabwe,” reads part of the statement.
Zupco has announced that it was going to increase its fleet with 50 more buses to reduce transport problems.
Zupco chief executive officer Mr Evaristo Mudangwa said there would be an increase in buses by the end of this week.
“Fifty more buses are expected to arrive,” he said. “What we encourage commuters is to use designated bus termini because Zupco buses do not stop at undesignated pick up and drop points. We have noticed that there is a tendency by commuters to go to mushika-shika while Zupco buses are available at the terminuses.
“There is no way a Zupco bus will leave people at the terminus. Our mandate is to make sure that we carry everyone to their places and we leave no one behind. Zupco buses do not pick people at undesignated pick up points so we encourage commuters to go to designated sites so that they can be ferried home safely by our buses.”