Private transport operators join ZUPCO franchise

By John Nhandara

Efforts to ease the current transport challenges for the commuting public have seen private transport operators coming on board with a fleet of buses that will ply intra-city routes with immediate effect.

This comes after the transport operators held an emergency caucus meeting in Harare this Sunday to map the forward.

The meeting was held after government announced measures to open up the public transport sector to private players to complement the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).

“We are bringing in our buses. We have agreed with the regulator so everything is in place now,” said Shadreck Tiripano, a tour operator.

Zimbabwe Passenger Transport Organisation, ZPTO spokesperson, Samson Nhanhanga spoke on their long term plans which include importing one thousand coaches this year.

“We have brought in a number of buses after our engagement with Government. We have even taken some of our buses that were plying inter-city routes to service intra-city shuttle services. The transport challenges will now be a thing of the past. Also, as transporters we will be importing 1 000 buses this year to complement the existing fleet,” he said.

The public is pinning its hopes on the recent government intervention to improve the public transport situation.

“So long the vehicles are in good shape and fit, it’s a good move that they complement Zupco services,” a commuter commented.

An impasse between ZUPCO and franchise operators, including delays in payment of dues had seen private operators withdrawing their services resulting in transport challenges, particularly in Harare.