THE Bulawayo City Council will in the next six months ban commuter omnibus crews who do not have at least a certificate in public relations and customer care to curb rampant abuse of passengers.
According to the City of Bulawayo Public Transport Policy transporters would also be required to form a single company to operate on the city’s roads by April.
The policy was formulated after consultations with stakeholders in public transportation in November last year.
The policy document identified overcoming sole trader mentality as the biggest threat to the successful implementation of the policy.
Part six of the policy calls for the formation of a single company by existing operators.
“There shall be eventually a single management board or company that shall be responsible for the management of routes, the termini points and the board shall be responsible for the public transport system in Bulawayo,” read the document.
The document also reads; “All employees of the company shall receive training in public relations and customer care and shall not be permitted to work in Bulawayo until they have written proof that they have passed these courses at certificate level.”
It is stated in part three and four of the policy that all public transport vehicles shall be registered on a specific routes, which starts and ends at fixed termini.
“No vehicle other than those appointed by the company shall be allowed to use or enter the termini.
“Only metered taxis shall be allowed to make door to door delivery of passengers. Mini buses, Kombis, buses registered or unregistered shall not be permitted in the CBD (Central Business District) for whatever reason. Owners of such vehicles may apply to council to use them in the CBD for private and personal use. Council’s determination of such applications shall be final,” the document read.
The policy, in part five, stipulates that all public service vehicles would be registered and inspected every six months and should be serviced by a reputable registered garage.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police shall enforce all requirements as per the Road Motor Transportation Act. Vehicles without the necessary documentation shall not be used to ferry passengers and shall be impounded until such time that the requirements have been met,” the policy read.
Also according to the policy, vehicles in excess of nine tonnes would not be allowed to drive through the city centre or residential areas, but would be required to follow routes stipulated by council.
Luxury coaches would also be required to operate from designated termini but would be linked to hotels in the CBD through a shuttle service.
“Metered or unmetered taxis shall park at designated points requested from and allocated by council. They shall be charged parking fees,” read the document.
An enforcement committee to incorporate council, the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), representatives of the company and residents would be set up to ensure compliance.
“If the company is found using an undesignated ranking zone, pick up or drop off point, shall in the first instance be warned and on the second instance be fined and on the third be deregistered and have its contract cancelled,” read the report.
Council proposes to meet stakeholders and explain the policy to them to get further buy-in from affected entities, while also helping them to form a strong competitive company following the guidelines of the national indigenisation policy.
The local authority anticipates that the policy might be signed and implemented in April.
Council started formulating the public transport policy last year to ensure a safe and efficient transport system. The policy is aimed at, among other things, reduction of accidents caused by defective vehicles and eliminating abuse of passengers by rude kombi crews.
Stakeholders who took part in the formulation of the policy include, Bulawayo councillors, council officials, Zupco, the police, VID, Automobile Association of Zimbabwe (AAZ), ZILTDA Cross Border Association, Bulawayo United Transporters Association (Bupta), civic organisations, Express Private Car Commuter Services, Tshova Mbayiwa, residents and the Professional Drivers Association of Zimbabwe.