Charmaine Brown Herald Reporter
The Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has praised the vehicle tracking system by the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco), which will monitor the location and fuel usage of buses insisting the initiative would assist in improving service delivery.
He added that the Zupco franchise to commuter omnibus operators will cushion passengers from rowdy touts who harassed passengers, and in some cases, stole from them.
The touts are unpopular among passengers for indiscriminately raising commuter fares.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, PAZ president Mr Tafadzwa Goliati said the vehicle tracking system was an important measure which should promote good management of resources.
The system would also help in improving issues to do with punctuality and deal with dereliction of duty on the part of drivers.
“The Zupco tracking system, which has already been installed on some Zupco commuter omnibuses, is a good initiative because it assists in showing the people at the control centre the location of the bus,” said Mr Goliati.
‘’Recently, assumptions circulated that some of the Zupco drivers and conductors were involved in theft of unrevealed funds through a ticket scam; thus, the tracking system will assist in monitoring the buses.
“The system will also assist in making it easier to track the fuel usage allocated to the buses’ current location. The system will also assist in monitoring the drivers who sleep on duty and those drivers who divert from the routes they are supposed to service.”
Mr Goliati also said the Zupco franchise scheme that has roped in kombis, was good for passengers as it will protect them from the rowdy touts, who are only concerned with money.
“These touts physically and verbally abuse passengers through forcing them to board certain forms of transport and as a result they charge higher transport fares therefore they need to be reduced.
“At least commuters now have a choice between using private kombis or Zupco buses. Handlers of this scheme should run it efficiently and not let Government down,” he said.
Mr Goliati said Zupco must treat passengers who pay using cash equally even if first preference is given to the elderly and the holders of prepaid Transit Access Pass card (tap-cards).