THE Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) has mobilized more than 400 kombis to service suburban routes across the country and 96 kombis are already operating under the scheme in Bulawayo, a development that has resulted in affordable fares for commuters.
The government extended the Zupco franchise to urban commuter omnibus operators who are charging $2 for a trip compared to $5 charged by the other kombis. Bulawayo started with 18 kombis last month and the number has grown to 96 kombis and the target is to have more than 220 kombis servicing Bulawayo.
In a telephone interview from Harare, Zupco acting Chief Executive Officer Mr. Evaristo Madangwa said 410 kombis had been mobilized and were operating across the country.
“At the moment we have 516 buses under the scheme countrywide and 410 kombis. We are working on reaching our 1 000 kombis target and the progress made shows that we are heading there,” said Mr. Madangwa.
He said Zupco was working on providing uninterrupted service to the traveling public during the festive season.
Mr. Madangwa said his company will soon introduce a pre-booking system for inter-city routes. “We aim to provide a convenient service with effect from the beginning of December. We will be rolling out our pilot project which we are confident will be well received by the commuting public,” he said.
Zupco Southern region manager Mr. Tineyi Rwasoka said the region has 106 buses and 96 kombis. 32 buses service intercity routes and 22 of them service rural areas on specific days.
He said the pre-booking system will be rolled out on the Bulawayo-Harare and Bulawayo-Victoria Falls routes as a pilot project. “We are introducing the new system next week ahead of the festive season when the demand for transport increases,” said Mr. Rwasoka.