Kombi operators cry as commuters ditch them in favour of much cheaper Zupco buses


COMMUTER omnibus operators have cried foul over the introduction of cheap urban mass transportation system. They are feeling the heat as commuters shun their services in favour of the much cheaper Zupco buses have called on the government to provide them with subsidized fuel as well to ensure their survival.

The operators said that unless the government does something for them, they were going to go out of business and all the families of the drivers and conductors would be left in jeopardy.

The Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus Operators (GHACO) has actually come up discounted fares as shown below,

Distance                               Discounted Fare                               Actual Fare
0.1 – 10km                         $2.50                                              $3.70
10.01 – 20 km                    $3.00                                              $5.50
20.01 – 30 km                    $3.50                                              $8.00
30.01+ km                          $4.00                                              $9.50

GHACO secretary general, Ngoni Katsvairo told H-Metro,

We appeal to government to provide cheaper fuel to compliant kombi operators so they can be able to further discount the fares from the current charges. We are not even charging the actual fares based on Total Cost per KM (TCK) as shown next to the discounted fares.

The TCK is open for all to see and satisfy themselves to costs we are facing on the ground – spares and other running costs are out of this world and kombis are just hanging in there as a national service otherwise there is no more business sense.

…We are blamed for increasing fares to passengers when touts stationing themselves at various pick up points are the ones who increase fares. They increase fares whenever they see a sizeable number of commuters looking for transport. Touts are the ones who approach drivers ordering them to ferry passengers they would have already charged high fares.

Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors representative Fradrick Maguramhinga added,

The transport sector is providing food on the table for many people that is why we are appealing to authorities to consider our plight.

— HMetro

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