Passengers cry foul as transporters hike fares

Stranded commuters at Mbare Musika.

TRAVELLERS going to their rural areas for the Christmas and New Year holidays yesterday complained that bus operators were taking advantage of the festive season to hike fares.

A survey by NewsDay Weekender in Harare revealed that long-distance buses had increased fares, with routes that normally cost US$7 now costing US$20 as transport operators capitalise on desperate travellers.

One traveller, who spoke to NewsDay Weekender, said: “Fares are increasing daily. Some routes have had their fares increased from US$7 up to US$20. There is no justification for the rise in fares, it’s sad. It’s Christmas period, and transport costs generally increase because there are a lot of travellers.”

The survey revealed that the those travelling from Harare to Bulawayo were the most affected, with their bus fares having been increased from US$15 to US$20.

There was congestion at Mbare bus terminus as travellers sought transport to rural areas.

Some travellers complained that there was a shortage of transport, while others said they waited up to five hours to get buses to their rural areas.

“I have been here since 8am and now its 11am, but there is still no bus. We are also struggling to get cheap buses,” Sipiwe Moyo, who was travelling to Hurungwe, told NewsDay Weekender.

Inter Africa bus manager, Harvest Tapesana said: “Yesterday, we had 24 buses going to Bulawayo, 35 for Chiredzi, and 40 buses for Masvingo. There are a lot of travellers this year.”

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