Zupco doubles metro fares

Zupco bus and kombi fares doubled yesterday to cover rising costs, but are still well below those charged by independent operators.

The last increase was in September last year.

Zupco bus fares to most high density suburbs will now be $2 and to more distant urban destinations, such as Chitungwiza, are now $3 compared to the minimum of $20 charged by kombis.

The Harare suburban fares charged by franchised kombis have risen to $4, around half that of independent operators.

Zupco chief executive Mr Evaristo Madangwa said the increase was “meant to help maintain our reliable, affordable and safe service.”

Despite the increases, people were still queuing at ranks and terminuses to use Zupco buses and most described the new fares as reasonable and fair.

“The increase in fares by Zupco is not having an effect to our incomes. I was paying $1,50 now I am paying $3 from town to Chitungwiza where I stay.

“This is extra reasonable considering kombis and other private buses are charging amounts ranging from $20 to $25 per trip for the same distance,” said Mr Aaron Munyurwa.

Another commuter Mrs Wadzanai Muchero said the Zupco tap card facility had made life easy for commuters.

“Zupco is accepting all forms of payment without adding premiums through the tap card facility, unlike the private bus operators who are demanding cash, at times forex and up to 35 percent extra on EcoCash transactions,” she said.

The Zupco subsidised fares are part of Government’s efforts to provide affordable public transport, which has seen Zupco buses, including hundreds of franchised kombis, making a mark on most urban routes countrywide.

As part of the commitment to a reliable affordable transport system, President Mnangagwa has authorised deals with companies in Belarus and China to supply batches of buses regularly.

The extra charged by the independents varies according to route, usually being lower on routes where Zupco and its franchises partners have a higher fraction of the traffic and so offer better competition.