115 Zupco more buses arrive

THE Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (zupco) will take delivery of 115 buses in a few days’ time, with the new fleet expected to be allocated to all 10 provinces and ease transport challenges in the new year.

The arrival of the latest batch will seeszupco surpass the 50 percent mark of the buses that it requires to efficiently service both urban and rural areas. This is part of Government’s efforts to address transport challenges and modernise the country’s public transport system.

The new buses, which are already in Durban, South Africa, are expected to be in the country any time this week.

Upon delivery, the coaches will be distributed equally in every province.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, zupco acting chief executive officer Mr Evaristo Madangwa said they were finalising the paperwork for delivery of the fleet.

“We are expecting 115 new buses in early January. The buses are already at the port of Durban and once we complete the necessary paperwork, we will be able to receive the buses.

“There have been delays in processing the papers since we were on holiday and some offices were closed. Once we open, we will finalise what needs to be done,” he said.

Mr Madangwa said demand for transport countrywide was increasing hence the need to continue boosting the zupco fleet.

“For us to operate smoothly we need a total of 2 500 buses. Currently we are operating with a fleet of 1 212 which encompasses both buses and kombis with most of them on franchise.

“Distribution is usually done based on demand, but this time every province is expected to receive some buses,” he said.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, national co-ordinator for the Passengers Association of Zimbabwe, Mr Tafadzwa Goriati, said the Government needs to be commended for reviving zupco.

“Before the Second Republic, zupco was close to defunct, but the fact that the company now has capacity to provide 50 percent of the public transport system underlines the strides that the parastatal has made. So indeed, we appreciate efforts being done by the Government to alleviate transport problems in the country.”

Mr Goriati, however, said more needs to be done to ease transport challenges.

“In rural areas, buses are there, but very limited. We humbly recommend that the Government augment its existing fleet with other modes of transport like rail. They should sit down with relevant stakeholders to map the way forward.”

The Government has indicated that it will support local bus manufacturers to assemble buses locally.
This initiation will create thousands of jobs and business opportunities for local suppliers.

Under the National Development Strategy 1 economic blueprint, the Government envisages zupco to fulfil its mandate as the strategic national public transport service provider.

Source – SundayMail

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