Rail passenger service brings relief to city roads

Source: Rail passenger service brings relief to city roads | Herald (Top Stories)

The commuter rail services falls under the Government’s priority for a decent, adequate and efficient public transport system.

Ivan Zhakata-Herald Correspondent

Zupco is now looking at expanding its Harare area train services, with a service going as far as Norton under consideration.

Trains in Harare are now generally full coming into the city centre in the mornings and going out in the late afternoon and numbers justify their introduction by Zupco in association with the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ). 

The commuter rail services falls under the Government’s priority for a decent, adequate and efficient public transport system.

All the three trains for the Mufakose, Ruwa and Tynwald routes are leaving the railway station with full loads, a move which might see Zupco adding more trains, as well as extending to other centres with the recent introduction of services in Gweru and Bulawayo services starting this week.

Zupco is also providing shuttle services to commuters from bus terminuses in the city centres to the railway station so that passengers can catch their trains.

Zupco acting chief executive officer Mr Everisto Mudangwa said the rail services have aided in reducing traffic jams during peak hours and they will also be revamping the coaches.

Zupco acting chief executive officer Mr Everisto Mudangwa

“The revamping of the coaches is work in progress as we had prioritised carrying passengers first but we will paint them and put new lights inside,” he said.

“We are also trying to expand the train which goes to Mufakose and make it reach Norton so that it will carry people who live in Norton and those who live in Riddle Ridge and White Cliff which are along the way. 

“We are happy that people are coming in numbers and it has helped in reducing congestion in the city.”

Zupco is also providing feeder services from the suburban stations that passengers use on the same ticket for the final leg of going home or the initial leg of going to town.

Government recently set up an inter-ministerial committee chaired by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo to look into decongesting roads in cities.

It attributed congestion to the increased availability of fuel on the local market and increased economic activities.

Police recently said travellers who board buses, kombis and mushikashika not registered under the Zupco franchise risk fines of $2 000 each as police intensifies operations against errant bus, commuter omnibus and private car operators who continue defying Covid-19 regulations.

Besides the rail service, Zupco is on a drive to recruit more franchise holders and has invited all owners of roadworthy buses and kombis to join the fleet and the transport company is working with the police to see how buses can be given priority at peak hours so as to speed up turnaround times.

They are expecting more buses to arrive by the end of this week to increase their carrying capacity and efficiency to commuters.

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