Govt tweaks mass transport system

Government is currently working on an urban mass transport system designed to decongest cities and bring sanity to various central business districts (CBDs) across the country.

The project, which is being spearheaded by Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s office together with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, will involve constructing termini and transport hubs around CBDs.

Entry into various city centres will be restricted, and the local authorities will largely depend on shuttle services.

It is envisaged that commuters will be dropped at the hubs, from where they will be shuttled to and from the CBDs. Consultations with the various stakeholders are underway.

Secretary for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Mr George Magosvongwe said the planned transport hubs will house vegetable and fruit vendors, as well as various shops and supermarkets.

“The Office of Vice President Mohadi together with the Ministry of Local Government has set up committees in the Department of Urban Transport and Physical Planning, which will oversee the project,” he said.

“We want to have a single transport system that is effective, so Government is coming up with hubs. Kombis, personal cars and bicycles will be left at the hubs and people will be transported into town by shuttle buses.

“The CBD will only have essential vehicles.

“We are still weighing our options on the type of shuttle.”

It is believed that Zupco (Zimbabwe United Passenger Company) will play a pivotal role.

“Zupco has been earmarked for part-privatised and it is now calling for expressions of interest from interested companies.

“This was done so that Zupco can fulfill its mandate in the urban area. Zupco will have a central control unit which will show how the buses are operating.

“This will help the fleet to be effective. We are still working on how the shuttle will work, so we have engaged registered commuter omnibuses as well as the private sector so that we come up with a comprehensive and effective shuttle system,” said Mr Magosvongwe.

Traffic congestion in Zimbabwe’s major cities, especially Harare, has caused headaches to residents and city fathers.

Zupco chief executive officer Mr Clifford Muwoni said the company is still scouting for suitors.

“Zupco is earmarked for partial privatisation so we are now hunting for partners,” he said.

“As for the mass transport system, that avenue is still open and we will explore it with our suppliers.”

It is estimated that over one million people use the urban transport system across Zimbabwe daily.

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