The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is mulling plans to introduce minibuses (kombis) to its fleet in a bid to make cheap transport available to more commuters in urban areas.
Reports indicate that the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is engaging kombi operators on a possible joint venture which will see them joining the state-controlled ZUPCO franchise. A ZTN News source is quoted as saying:
Zupco has been reaching out to leading kombi operators, trying to convince them to accept the offer being tabled by Government.
The demand for cheaper public transport is overwhelming the buses currently servicing routes, and there is a need for an urgent solution, which in this case are kombis.
ZUPCO buses have been inundated by hundreds of thousands of commuters because of high fares demanded by private operators.
For instance, ZUPCO buses charge $1 for a short distance in Harare while private operators demand as much as $7 for the same distance during peak hours.