The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) has hiked its busfare by 100%.
A commuter ominibus (Kombi) which was 8 ZImbawean dollars now costs 16 which represents a 100% increase in the fare.
ZUPCO has not officially announced the busfare hike but commuters who used their service told Savanna News that the fare had increased two fold.
Local Routes (1-20 km radius), Combies-ZW$16, Buses-ZW$8, Long Distance and Peri Urban will be charged at ZW$2 per km.
The busfare hike comes after private transport operators with conventional buses and kombis operating under the Zupco franchise requested for Government to pay them foreign currency.
This was revealed to The Herald by Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) secretary-general, Mr. Ngoni Katsvairo.
Katsvairo said they are also appealing to Government to consider increasing their hire fees which are currently pegged at 4 000 a day for big buses and $1 000 for kombis. He said they want Government to pay them $4 700 per day for kombis.
Katsvairo said Government can either pay them in US dollars, about US$65 per day via nostro accounts, or facilitate access to cheap spare parts to enable them to maintain their vehicles being the other alternative.
He said they want to be paid in foreign currency because suppliers of spare parts demand foreign currency or charge exorbitant prices in local currency.
We want our hire fees reviewed from $1 000 per day to $4 700 (for kombis). We also want to table a proposal to Government that it pays us in US dollars, about US$65 per day via nostro accounts as spare parts suppliers demand foreign currency or exorbitant charges in local currency, which are beyond our reach.
Government and transport operators had negotiations for revised hire rates last month. At the time, Secretary for Local Government and Public Works, Mr. Zvinechimwe Churu told the publication that there was a possibility of an increase in hire fees any time soon.
Churu however, said more details would be availed after Government met the operators. Churu said;
Prices for most commodities have been increasing so there is a high possibility that the hiring fees for conventional buses and commuter omnibuses will be reviewed. There is need to strike a balance between viability of the operators, Zupco and the paying public. Income should be generated from the business itself, but as Government we also want to protect passengers as well from the high transport cost.