Employers hire buses for workers

Source: Employers hire buses for workers | Herald (Top Stories)

Mr Chideme

Herald Reporters

While Zupco services are improving since passenger loads were allowed to rise, several employers are still providing transport or hiring kombis and buses to ensure staff get to and from work.

Some hire the kombis banned from running commuter services, which are safer if  public health requirements are enforced.

Harare City Council, one of the biggest employers in the capital with at least 12 000 workers, says it has made private arrangements.

“We are providing transport to the reduced numbers of employees attending duty. We are operating at around 4 000 employees so that we observe issues of social distance,” Harare City Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said.

Other companies hiring transport for staff are NetOne, Lobel’s, Baines Hospital and other big employers within the essential service category.

It costs an average of $3 000 a day for a 100km trip around the suburbs.

Econet and Cassava have been using the in-house Vaya transport for their employees.

Zupco has been making rich pickings from its own lack of capacity as some companies are going to the public transporter to hire vehicles.

Acting chief executive Mr Evaristo Madangwa confirmed.

“We charge commercial rates which are negotiated as per client,” Mr Madangwa said.

Asked on how they are managing to service private engagements at a time when buses are acutely failing to service the general public, Mr Madangwa said: “Hiring is once off during the day and the buses then return to their usual trips.”

Zupco services were very poor until the middle of last week despite the hiring and franchising of hundreds of extra buses and kombis.

The situation has improved following Cabinet permission to increase the number of passengers on each trip.

Passengers Association of Zimbabwe president Tafadzwa Goliathi said people are struggling to move around.

“People are overcrowding at ranks, we are afraid Covid-19 may be transmitted in queues. Our terminuses are poorly lit, people are exposed to theft and other ills as they wait for buses,” he said.