Some Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) kombi crews in Bulawayo have reportedly slashed fares to US$1 for two people from $1 per person, while others are sticking to the new fares announced on 1 July.
ZUPCO buses and kombis increased fares by 100 per cent last week pegging bus fare at $60 and kombis $80 (almost US$1) at the official exchange rate.
A conductor who declined to be named told the Chronicle that they were informed to reduce fares by officials. She said:
We just woke up today to be told that the omnibus fare was now $60 or US$1 for 2 or 10 rands. Communication came from the officials, we do not know much about the new changes.
However, another conductor said they were told that for Nkulumane 12 prices have not changed.
ZUPCO southern division operations manager Tineyi Rwasoka on Wednesday declined to comment on the issue of the fares and referred questions to acting chief executive officer Evaristo Madangwa.
Efforts by the publication to get a comment from Madangwa were fruitless as his mobile phone was said to have been ringing without answer since yesterday.
While ZUPCO hiked fares, pirate kombis maintained their $50 fare and commuters started avoiding ZUPCO buses that would move between destinations with as little as four passengers.
ZUPCO has been the sole public transporter for over a year now while others are operating illegally.
However, commuters said they preferred the cheaper pirate taxis (Mushikashika), although they sometimes endangered their lives when they get involved in high-speed chases with police.