Zupco gets 100 more new buses. The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) will take delivery of 100 new buses next month to add to its 800-strong fleet, as Government heightens efforts to address transport challenges and modernise the country’s public transport system.
Engineers at the company have also begun refurbishing decommissioned buses to add to its rural routes, with 20 such buses having been brought back on the road this year. Cabinet last week “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”.
Negotiations between local vehicle assembly companies and a Belarusian supplier of bus knock-down kits are reportedly advanced. The Sunday Mail understands that the assembly of buses locally is set to begin before year-end when negotiations are concluded.
Zupco requires 2 000 buses to run an efficient mass transport system. Currently, the transport utility owns 262 buses, while the rest are operated through its franchise system.
In an interview, Zupco chief executive officer Mr Evaristo Madangwa said demand for public transport was increasing. “We are expecting, in the next four to five weeks, delivery of an additional 100 buses,” said Mr Madangwa. “We are currently operating on a fleet of between 750 to 800 buses, and most of them are on franchise. “Zupco needs at least 2 000 buses for it to efficiently work.
“Our engineering team is also on course, resuscitating our old all-terrain buses and we have already introduced some in the system.”
He said the all-terrain buses will be deployed to rural areas because they are better suited to travelling on gravel roads. “Private bus operators plying rural routes do not need to join our franchise system; this is meant for urban operations only.”