The mass public transport service initiative implemented through the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) had a smooth take off this morning across the various designated routes in Harare and Chitungwiza, bringing relief to the commuting public from the exorbitant fares that were now being charged by commuter omnibuses.
The intervention by the government through a strategic arrangement with private players and implemented through ZUPCO has helped retain sanity in the transport sector, a development welcomed by the transporting public who had endured a week of exploitation from unscrupulous operators.
From a high of $5, the fares in Chitungwiza this morning dropped drastically to $2 for commuter omnibuses as they struggled for customers against the $1.50 fare charged by the mass public transport vehicles – buses.
Competition is now stiff, and the conditions of the market will set the pace in the pricing structures within the transport sector.
Already the heat is being felt by those who had almost created a monopoly in the transport business.
The government targets to increase the fleet to over 200 buses by the end of the week as more private players come on board.
Experts contend that mass transit vehicles are a solution to support economic growth and urban connectivity, as they provide a reliable and efficient pedestal to move labour.