The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) says it needs a minimum of 3 000 buses to end transport challenges for the travelling public.
ZUPCO has contracted private transporters to boost its fleet as the state-owned public utility struggles to get back to its feet.
However, some of the contracted private players withdrew their buses from the ZUPCO pool because of meagre payments.
Currently, ZUPCO is deploying at least 765 high-volume buses and 1 150 commuter omnibuses (kombis) in urban areas.
More than 500 of the available buses are currently plying Harare’s roads but still, the buses are inadequate as travellers are still facing challenges.
ZUPCO chief executive officer, Evaristo Madangwa, told The Sunday Mail that the company is still open to more transporters. Madangwa said:
The issue of the fleet is an ongoing process, we need at least 3 000 buses to meet demand though we will get conclusive figures when census results are out.
We are expecting additional buses this month while more are being assembled locally.
This will go a long way in addressing the prevailing challenges.
Earlier this year, ZUPCO introduced a new pre-ticketing system whereby a passenger purchases their ticket from ZUPCO booths and are then given their fleet and seat numbers before boarding the bus.
The pre-tickets can be bought using cash, swipe or EcoCash.
Madangwa said the system also helps reduce long queues and stampedes at pick-up points. He added:
When one purchases their ticket, they are given a fleet and seat number and wait for their bus.
This means there is no point in stampede because one knows which bus they are waiting for.