Is it true that ZUPCO does not increase fares all the time?

The Claim: ZUPCO does not increase fares all the time
The Verdict: claim verdict

CLAIM: ZUPCO does not increase fares all the time

SOURCE: ZUPCO acting chief executive officer, Evaristo Madangwa

Research by CITE has shown ZUPCO has actually increased commuter fares six times since the parastatal returned to urban routes in 2019.

When ZUPCO buses began servicing urban routes in January 2019, they were charging ZWL$1 per trip while kombis charged ZWL$2.

In March 2020 ZUPCO hiked fares by 100 percent and passengers began to pay ZWL$2 a trip on buses up from ZWL$1 while kombis went up to ZWL$4 up from ZWL$2.

Between March and August 2020 during the Covid-19-induced lockdown period, ZUPCO increased fares by 100 percent twice. The bus fare first shot up from ZWL$2 to ZWL$4 while kombi fares surged from ZWL$4 to ZWL$8. Later on ZUPCO bus fares went up from ZWL$4 to ZWL$8, while a ride on the ZUPCO kombi then cost ZWL$16, from ZWL$8.

As if that was not enough, in September 2020 ZUPCO increased fares again by 100 percent with immediate effect.

According to the new fare structure then, passengers paid ZWL$16 per trip for ZUPCO buses up from ZWL$8 while ZUPCO kombis started to charge ZWL$32 up from ZWL$16.

ZUPCO acting chief executive officer, Evaristo Madangwa said the new fares were a cost containment measure by the company.

In January 2021 ZUPCO hiked fares again by 100 percent

The hiking of bus fares by ZUPCO from ZWL$16 to ZWL$30 and $24 to $50 for kombis riled the commuting public, with transport associations and residents saying that it would make transport unaffordable for most citizens.

The July hike is the latest by ZUPCO in which buses now charge ZWL$60 up from ZWL$30 while kombi fares have been increased from ZWL$50 to ZWL$80.

BACKGROUND: The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) recently increased commuter fares for its urban routes by 100 percent. The new fares which came into effect on July 1, saw ZUPCO buses charge ZWL$60 up from ZWL$30 while kombi fares moved from ZWL$50 to ZWL$80, a development which riled the commuting public.

Since then Bulawayo commuters have been shunning the only authorised public transporter under the government’s Covid-19 protocols preferring pirate kombis some of which continue to charge ZWL$50 per trip.

Responding to public outcry on the new fares, the parastatal’s acting chief executive officer, Evaristo Madangwa is quoted in the Chronicle of 2 July 2021 as saying high operational costs and frequent price hikes in the country had forced them to increase fares to ensure company viability adding, members of the public should understand that ZUPCO does not always hike fares.

“What the public should, however, note is that we do not increase our prices all the time, instead we do it after a period of time,” said Mr Madangwa.

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