Kombi operators who saw their business put to a standstill since the induced lockdown restrictions in March (except those contracted under ZUPCO franchise) are expected to hold talks with the government as they are pushing for a sensational return to intra city operations.

Of late, vehicular and passenger traffic increased as a result of relaxation of lockdown restrictions and the Kombi operators seek to ease the crisis and they are even planning for having an association for smooth liaison with authorities.

We remain committed to the urban transport system and for now we want to remain with one transport system. We have a transport plan for urban commuters that we will soon unveil,” said the Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo.

Ngoni Katsvairo, the secretary general for the Harare Association of Commuter Operators alluded that it was necessary to table with the government to easy the transport problems being faced by commuters.

We wrote a letter in June to Zupco and Local Government (and Public Works). However, we were advised to wait until lockdown regulations had been relaxed,” said Katsvairo.

HE added ““We have written again to the authorities for engagement and we are hoping to meet next week (this week) for talks. Government has allowed resumption of inter-city travel and the measures are only favourable to those with big companies, and not kombis.

Katsvairo further noted that “The meeting will be about how kombis can ply in urban areas as well as inter-city going forward. The meeting will also look at how kombis can be allowed to join associations of their choice going forward.

The relaxation of lockdown restrictions being done by the government have seen most parts of the economy reopening which has resulted in increased number of commuters on a day.

Zupco is currently operating with 507 conventional buses and 500 commuter omnibuses, and is trying to conscript additional kombis.

Passengers Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Tafadzwa Goliati said with the opening up of various economic sectors, passengers have increased, thus the need to increase buses.

Credit: Sunday News

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