The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) buses have been overwhelmed by commuters who can no longer afford the exorbitant fares being charged by commuter omnibuses following the recent fuel price hike.
Long queues have become the order of the day at all ZUPCO bus termini in Harare as the commuting public can longer afford fares charged by commuter omnibuses that range between ZWL $5 and $8 dollars for a local trip.
ZUPCO buses charge between a dollar and two for local trips, hence the huge turnout at the buses’ various termini as passengers try to avoid paying more in commuter omnibuses.
“This resulted in some of us here failing to report for work on time as we battle for the cheap mode of transport,” said one passenger.
“The transport situation has turned dire as kombis have hiked fares to between ZWL $10 and twenty dollars to and from work,” said another one.
“Its 11 o’clock now and I joined this queue in the morning but up to now I am yet to board the ZUPCO to go to work. The buses are being overwhelmed to say the truth because they are the cheap one, says commuter in the CBD,’’ said another one.
“We appeal to government to bring more buses because everyone is now preferring the ZUPCO, we don’t have money to board the expensive kombis, says another old woman in the city,’’ said another one.
A driver with ZUPCO confirmed the swelling numbers as the cheaper mode of transport has become the overwhelming choice for many.
“It has been hectic, but the fact is that the buses are few, says the driver,” he said.
Government introduced ZUPCO buses to cushion commuters from transport challenges and exorbitant fares charged by commuter omnibuses.
More buses are expected to arrive in the country from Belarus and South Africa.