Zupco in bid to boost fleet

Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) is inviting bidders from suitable suppliers for semi luxury buses as it fails to meet transport demands. In an advertisement the bus company advised interested bidders to attach copies of certificate of incorporation, CR14 and administration.

“Tenders must be enclosed in a sealed envelope and endorsed on the outside with the advertised tender number, the description, the closing date and must be posted in time,” Zupco said. The tender comes a month after government said the bus company was expecting a delivery of 500 buses from Belarus and South Africa following negotiations with the two countries.

Commenting on the tender, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services permanent secretary Nick Mangwana said government was working towards eliminating public transport related challenges in the country. “Sustainable long term public transportation systems should generally make it better and cheaper to commute by public transport than driving.

“We are not yet there but plans are in place to resolve current public transport system challenges with Zupco being a big part of it,” Mangwana said. This comes as plans to revive the State-owned transport operator, are moving forward after the parastatal also embarked on a recruitment drive.

Zupco last week advertised several vacant positions including bus conductors, cashiers, analysis clerks, automobile electricians, workshop foremen and artisan-motor mechanics/diesel plant fitters.
The company re-introduced its buses while hiring others from private transporters after kombis increased commuter fares following the infamous fuel price hikes in January.

More than 140 buses were mobilised to carry passengers for $1 per trip in and around Harare as part of long-term interventions to modernise the mass public transport system in Zimbabwe.
Commuters from Chitungwiza and Norton pay $1,50 and $2 per trip, respectively while the rest of the routes are charged a dollar.

The buses were also introduced in Bulawayo where they brought relief to commuters who were being charged exorbitant fares for a rough ride in commuter omnibuses. This development saw commuter omnibus operators reducing their fares following the introduction of these buses.

Passengers in Harare and Bulawayo slammed kombi operators for exploiting them, with some people calling for their immediate ban.
However, over the past few weeks passengers have once again been left stranded as Zupco buses have reportedly disappeared from the roads in Bulawayo and some parts of Harare.

Government reportedly failed to settle debts with some of the contractors that have pulled out of the deal.

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