Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has urged government to consider other players in transport sector as a way to mitigate the ongoing crisis during lockdown period.
In a Press Release Tafadzwa Goliat PAZ President said Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) is inadequate to proffer the current transport challenges affecting people.
“Government should put into consideration the need to revoke ZUPCO monopoly and allow other players to provide passenger conveyancing services, given the prevailing public transport crisis,” he said.
According to PAZ easing Lockdown to level two invited the demand of more transport as workers in the informal sector resumed work. Given such a scenario, social distancing is limits the passenger company in furring many people.
“ZUPCO buses are being overwhelmed by workers in the formal sector who resumed operations after the Covid 19 lockdown was eased to level 2. The situation is exercebated by the unavoidable social distance requirement for passengers. Ironically, at all bus termini the large and impatient numbers do not follow this rule.”
The crisis has reached a worrying state as most commuters would desperately hike any transport that comes thier way, thereby risking spread of COVID-19 and at times queuing up to late hours.
“Most people are queing up at 3 or 4am so as to be at work by 8am. They are getting home at between 7 and 9pm. They have little time to rest and enjoy family life.
More often than not, many are forced to commute in private vehicles and pick up trucks, where the social distancing rule doesnot apply and some passengers donot wear face masks.”
Meanwhile the government has allowed other operators to come on board provided that they meet new regulations to contain spread of COVID-19.