The government is set to procure 667 more buses for the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) to ease transport problems faced by commuters in high-density suburbs and across the country.
This was announced on Tuesday by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa after a Cabinet meeting. Said Mutsvangwa:
On enhanced public transport logistics, Cabinet resolved to support the urgent procurement or hire of an additional 667 buses to enable ZUPCO to provide a more efficient service to all high-density suburbs.
Zupco is going to revive traditional bus routes, using designated bus stops, adhering to the stipulated bus timetable, and improving the electronic payment system.
Furthermore, there will be the repair of non-functioning traffic management signals, deployment of the traffic management system at Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Command Centre; generation of number plates, smart transport solution with cameras will be rolled out in June, and implementation of the tracking system on Zupco franchised buses.
Mutsvangwa also revealed that the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Municipal Traffic Police around the country would soon be undertaking joint operations to eradicate unregistered public transport vehicles. She said:
Cabinet resolved that in order to enhance public transport service provided through Zupco the Municipal Traffic Police and the Zimbabwe Republic Police will carry out enforcement programmes targeted at removing pirate taxis (mishikashika) operating in the Harare Central Business District.
Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Municipal Police will be resourced to enable ZRP to implement traffic enforcement programmes effectively. There will be joint operations between Municipal Traffic Police and ZRP at the intersection.
Municipal Traffic Police will also be trained on how they will operate in the controlling of traffic. Furthermore, impound yards would be established at strategic places along major routes and trading at all Traffic Intersections and along Road Servitudes will be criminalized.
Members of the public have been facing transport challenges since the initial lockdown in March last year after the government banned kombis from the roads.
The government has hitherto failed to address the acute transport problems being experienced by citizens across the country.