Zimbabwe’s largest daily newspaper
Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
THE public transport system has improved after the Government liberalised the sector while Zupco contracted private companies with kombis and increased their daily payments by over 100 percent.
The commuter transport situation worsened just over a week ago when transport operators withdrew their kombis that were affiliated to Zupco claiming the daily rate of $10 000 had become unviable.
Zupco then engaged the operators and agreed to increase the rate to $20 300, while negotiations with transporters operating conventional buses also raised similar concerns and are being addressed.
Yesterday, news crew from The Herald visited Harare’s major pick-up and drop-off points and established that the transport situation had normalised.
Many buses and kombis could be seen picking up passengers without hassles, while the waiting period was way less than in the past.
The Copacabana bus terminus in central Harare that is used by commuters going largely to Harare’s north-western suburbs, was packed with buses and kombis waiting to ferry passengers.
It was the same situation at the Simon Vengayi Muzenda bus terminus, where commuters to the eastern parts of the capital get their buses.
A couple of pirate taxi operators could also be seen jostling to get passengers along Robert Mugabe Street near Roadport, despite the declaration of war against them by police.
At Charge Office and Market Square termini, queues were moving fast with many buses available.
Commuters praised the Government for the intervention that has greatly improved the transport challenges.
Ms Tsitsi Mutasa of Tafara suburb who was at Simon Vengayi Muzenda Bus Terminus, said she was happy that transport woes had become a thing of the past.
“Now I can go to the rank without any worry because there are many buses all the time. The transport challenges have varnished and everything has returned to normal.
“I am very happy that the Government has responded to our challenges,” she said.
Mrs Tino Machengo of Kuwadza who was at Copacabana terminus said the situation had vastly improved but called for more buses to eliminate pirate taxis that cause chaos in the city centre.
“We are grateful that buses are now available in ranks and we are not facing any problems. We are now pleading with the Government to increase more buses so that we do not face future challenges,” she said.
Mr Ronald Pimbiyo of Cold Comfort thanked the Government for freeing up the public transport sector. He hopes that operators will comply with the regulations and desist from picking people from undesignated points and increasing fares wantonly.
“What we now want is for the Government to get rid of mushikashika completely,” he said.
Mr Japser Ndiweni of Hatfield who was at Charge Office bus terminus said he was no longer worried about having to wake up early and finishing work early to go and jostle for transport.