Transport blues in Bulawayo

Hundreds of commuters were left stranded on Friday morning as Zupco buses are grounded due to fuel constraints. The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company has remained the sole public transport operator permitted to ferry commuters in the extended lockdown period.

Scores of commuters from western areas were seen walking along Luveve and Khami road to get to the Central Business District.

Fuel shortages have been cited as the major cause of the transport blues faced by commuters this morning. The situation has sparked calls for the return of kombis amongst commuters; a move that will ease the burden on ZUPCO.

Habakkuk Trust Community Advocacy Action Teams in Bulawayo reported long winding queues at Zupco terminals in most Western suburbs.

Zupco buses are currently charging $4 a trip. Private vehicles were charging at least $25 this morning, an amount which has been deemed as unsustainable given the prevailing economic situation.

The disruption in service comes amidst concerns over the lack of social distancing at ZUPCO queues. Crowding at ZUPCO termini is a potential risk of the community spread of COVID -19.

The government should, therefore, consider allowing other players in the transport sector to ease the burden on the overwhelming ZUPCO company.

Source: Habakkuk Trust