Wednesday, 24 October 2018

BUS FARES HIKED

Public transport operators have significantly hiked bus fares by more than 40 percent, amid current fuel shortages being experienced throughout the country.

A survey by the Daily News yesterday revealed that majority of the long-distance busses are charging fares in US dollars only, while others are taking bond notes and RTGS at rated prices.

Harare to Johannesburg, South Africa is paged at R550 or US$38 only, while local fares from Harare to Bulawayo are ranging between $25 to $30 bond notes, and Harare to Gweru is ranging from $18 (bond notes) to $22 (RTGS).

The same local operators are charging US$20 and US$12 respectively for the same routes, which are the normal fares maintained by bus operators since 2017.

The survey also showed that the same demise has fallen upon short distance public transport users 
who have hiked bus fares by 100 percent.


Fares from most suburbs to Central Business District (CBD) have risen from around 50 cents ranging from $0,75 to a $1, while travelling from areas like Chitungwiza, now costs between $1,50 to $2.
Simplisio Shamba, president of the Motor Industry Employees Association (MIEA) told the Daily News that the hikes were justified by the demand for foreign currency by corresponding retailers.

“Spare parts are being sold in hard currency and fuel is also being sold on black market. High demand of goods has caused prices to increase, so businesses are looking at replacement value.

“There has been no allocation of foreign currency to the industry to bring in spare parts and the shortage of fuel has been spiked by porous border posts, so smuggled parts are now in the market.

“Government has done the best possible but demand for products has also increased.
Passengers Association of Zimbabwe president Tafadzwa Goliath told the Daily News that the bus fare hikes have affected the public enormously, including medical services which are fundamental to the nation’s well-being.

“With all that is happening, there is no salary increase and we don’t know why the government is quiet.

“People are now taking advantage of unregistered vehicles which are cheaper than the registered commuters, thus putting lives of the public in danger.

“We went to engage energy minister Joram Gumbo and his secretary told us that he would call but no one did, and we are still waiting because this is a serious issue.

“Government must prioritise the public, because doctors and ambulances cannot respond to calls because they don’t have fuel, and prices to Chitungiwza are varying from $1.50 to $2 while other suburbs are ranging from $0,75 to S1,” Goliath said.

However, Shamba told the Daily News that the recent fuel hike will also spark another increase in fares.

“Fuel has gone up by two cents, so expect another increase due to this increase which has been caused by global market price movement,” he said. Daily News

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