The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) will this week take delivery of a fleet of new buses procured from China, a company official has said.
ZUPCO acting chief executive officer Evaristo Madangwa told The Sunday Mail that delivery is expected on Wednesday and Thursday. Said Madangwa:
We are expecting more buses on the 21st and 22nd of July. However, I do not have the exact number of buses that are coming. The new batch is coming from China.
Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa recently said 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.
Madangwa said last week’s redeployment of ZUPCO’s inter-city fleet to service urban commuter routes had helped address transport challenges. He said:
Since inter-city travel was stopped following the introduction of a Level Four lockdown, we decided that buses that usually ply long-distance routes be used to complement our services for urban commuters.
There has been a huge improvement in transport availability as there are more buses in the urban areas.
Last week ZUPCO slashed fares after a recent fare hike drove away commuters to pirate taxis, leaving the company’s kombi crews scrounging for passengers.
ZUPCO requires 2 000 buses to run an efficient mass transport system but currently owns 262 buses. The rest are operated through its franchise system.
The last batch of ZUPCO buses imported into the country was commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 12 March.