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Zupco's three-tier fare structure unsustainable

by Ngwenya
01 Mar 2021 at 04:59hrs | Views
ON January 16, 2021, urban transporter Zupco announced a 100% fare hike for urban routes citing falling revenues due to the reduced number of passengers which has been necessitated by adherence to COVID-19 health guidelines.

Reflecting on those statements, we are now certain that the reasons given in justifying the increase were false since buses still carry the maximum number of seated passengers, and in some instances, there will be standing passengers.

With so many months having passed without Zupco accepting forex fares, the decision to introduce forex fares is long overdue. I always hated the inconvenience of having to run around trying to change a dollar/rand note to pay the bus fare before boarding.

The announced forex fares are careless, to say the least, leaving travellers wondering about the intentions of whoever came up with them. They speak to a gross lack of appreciation or outright ignorance of the reality on the local forex exchange market, both the formal and informal versions.

The ultimate effect is that Zupco now charges three separate prices for the same route with those in possession of US dollars forced to pay more for the same distance.

This week the official exchange rate was US$1:$82,6 while the rate for rand was ZAR1:$5,5772.

For a distance within a 20km radius, this translates to Zupco omnibus fares of R0,83 and R0,56 for commuters paying in US dollars and rands respectively against a flat rate of $50 for those using local dollars.

It is, therefore, easy to predict that this unfair fare structure will be dismissed by hard-pressed Zimbabweans who will opt to change their forex to local dollars and pay the cheaper local currency fares.

Source - newsday

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