Kombi Ban: New Buses on Standby To Replace Kombis

Metro Buses is servicing the Harare-St Mary’s route using a fleet of five high-volume buses
Metro Buses is servicing the Harare-St Mary’s route using a fleet of five high-volume buses

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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  • Taurai

    I guess , those buses will be owned by ministers and top officials kuda kudiridza dzinde rerugare nemisodzi yevamwe that is un ethical

  • Chihelele

    These buses are not banned in UK. Where i live i see them daily, brand new and old. MAybe in london they were banned due to limited space and narrow roads, but i have been to many UK cities and they all have these buses which they call Train bus

    • robzam

      They are not banned even in London

      • Thomas

        Boris Johnson withdrew the London bendy Bus from service in July 2009. Withdrawn buses have found their way to other parts of the UK. Arriva exported 68 to Malta in 2011 for use by its Arriva in Malta subsidiary. Others went to Arriva Midlands in Leicester and Arriva North West in Liverpool. Go-Ahead Group transferred some to their Brighton & Hove, Go North East, Southern Vectis and Wilts & Dorset operations. Some were sold to CT Plus, Bristol and McGill’s Bus Services, Glasgow.

        Try and keep up.

  • Ndidzo

    Food for thought – How many combis put against metro buses have crushed maimed and killed since the introduction of the “the old London bendy buses which where banned because of safety fears”?

  • Charles

    Certainly anything that decongests our cities is a welcome environment.Let us not just criticise every good idea without providing alternatives.

  • madzibaba Ishumairai

    are these operators who claim they are ready to introduce the 300 buses being prevented by any legislation why wait for the banning of commuters why not introduce your 300 buses now and compete with the combis and if possible push them out of business remember customer is king. What sort of system or business operations do you want to introduce that relies on protection and muscle to push out competition. Remember ZUPCO was not outlawed it crumbled due to stiff competition from the commuter omnibuses. Competition brings efficiency protection promotes incompetence

  • Dhinhiwe

    Who owns the buses? What if he decide to go into something else like most indigenous operators who are into everything? What is he goes broke? What if he belongs to a faction that loses power and he has to comply with regulations?

    It’s important to give the commuters all the information, is the business going to last?

    How do we know the individuals concerned have the ordinary people’s interests

  • zvenyika

    kombis are a menace on our roads. in as much as kombi owners and drivers are going to lose livelihoods, it was time some sanity was restored on our roads

    • majetsha

      ishoko chairo iri.

  • robzam

    Why do you need 8000 buses? Where are you plucking that figure from?

  • robzam

    Anybody who lives in that distance in surely covered within the main distance route. It does not make any business and economic sense to have a whole large bus covering for example Avondale only.

  • robzam

    Because commuters were preferring Kombis that did not take long to load but with that menace out of the way, it will pave the way for the return of the buses into urban areas.

    • impostor

      go ahead and ban them and we will see who will have the last laugh,the following will crumble within a week if kombis are removed from the road:ZRP,ZINARA,Min of Trans,VID,Harare city council,Transerv,Autobrakes,

  • George

    No problem in decongesting the cities by banning the kombis. However there should not be restrictions if anyone wants to invest in this business and comply to set standards. The problem comes when this is only a priviledge of ZANU cronies with everyone else not being allowed to invest in this sector. Those currently running kombi businesses should be allowed to invest in these buses too as long as they meet the required standards.

  • Hwindi

    But let the big fish face the competition, why let them get business on a silver plate? they must come into operation and force Kombis out of business by providing a flowless service. Zvakanaka tozvidawo.

  • SEKURU

    i think this is good because combies are killing people everyday

  • MC

    Fellow zimbabweans it may be worthwhile to sit down and understand the major reason why the Minister is pushing for a ban on Kombis.According to my understanding it is because of
    1.Road Carnage
    2.Decongestion of the the city.
    Whilst in some cases accidents are due to carelessness by the drivers and overspeeding.It is important to note that by introducing buses you will not eliminate any of the mentioned human errors as obviuosly the operator will still be a human.You can only do so by proper legislation and also serious refurbishment of the road netwrk.The issue of decongesting the city can also be simply resolved by stringentenforcement of measures that specify were all kombis should be allowed.In view of this ,banning kombis is not the solution.Kombi ban will only bring a new wave of headaches chief amongst them unemployment and most likely a new wave of transport shortages.Hw are you going to compensate those who have invested in this business.A ban might be a good or bad idea,the way it will be effected will only tell.More information on this cld perhas ease the speculation

  • taps

    The buses can come in handy during rush hour, but off-peak, they would be a major inconvenience to commuters, because passengers will most likely be forced to wait longer for each bus to fill up with a 100 passengers. Gau train in South Africa is having similar capacity challenges of not
    getting enough commuters during off-peak hours to cover operating costs. Drop offs such a huge number of passengers will also result in delay for some.

    We have all the laws, as a matter of fact Zimbabwe probably have one of the best constitutions in the world, the challenge we face as a nation in IMPLEMENTING our own laws.

    Why are the police chasing after the commuter omibuses when they can “flag” offenders and catch them when they try to renew their licenses?
    Why do we have unroadworthy combis on our routes when we can confisticate repeat offenders and ban their combis from our roads?

    They are a lot of things we can do better. The biggest challenge is corruption. I can smell dirty under-hand tactics with this new City Link bus services already, it has been proved before monopoly of public transport do not work in Zimbabwe. History is littered with a lot of those lessons. Air Zimbabwe, NRZ and ZUPCO to name a few.

    The City Link buses are nice, I like the idea, but re-search and community buy-in is needed and of course what to do with the huge dis empowerment and job loses it creates for our citizens.

  • mudzvarambengo

    masmall buses ari bhoo chaizvo nekuti anozara chopaz.pane gap rawanikwa.chiitai zvioita kune dzimwe nyika zvekuti bus rinofamba nenguwa.uchaona hako.kunonoka kwacho.metro buses during peak hour hongu.ndinobvuma.

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  • Jiri

    that is not true..