An urban public transport association has pledged 300 high-volume buses to service intra-city routes countrywide in response to Government’s plan to phase out commuter omnibuses.
The buses, with a carrying capacity of 60 to 100 passengers, are already on standby and expected to cater for 40 percent of commuters nationally.
It is anticipated that such buses will significantly reduce fares. Government intends to replace commuter omnibuses with high-volume buses as part of an initiative to decongest roads in the country’s major cities.
The measures, contained in the National Transport Policy which will be implemented over the next two years, also include revamping urban road networks. In written responses to inquiries from The Sunday Mail, Coach and Bus Operators’ Association chief executive Mr Alex Kautsiru said operators in the 27-member grouping were raring to face the challenge of urban transportation.
He said the operators would run the service professionally without resorting to unethical practices such as unilaterally and spontaneously altering fares.
“Yes, certainly, our members have highlighted their desire to resume intra-city routes in most of our major urban centres.
“We have since highlighted this desire, which has culminated in our members pledging at least 300 buses with a carrying capacity of 60 to 100 passengers.
“These vehicles are available immediately to complement the current modes of intra-city transportation. In the medium to long term, our members will start replacing the current buses with new intra-city coaches which are both passenger and infrastructure friendly.”
Already, a local operator — Metro Buses — is undertaking a pilot project of the proposed new transportation system.
The company services the St Mary’s- central Harare route, charging US$0,50 per trip. An official with the company told The Sunday Mail last week that the operator plans to import 30 more high-volume buses to augment the current fleet following encouraging business returns.
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