The Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) will take delivery of 500 buses by next year, with 150 coaches set to be delivered by the end of this year, to add to its current fleet of 467.

This was said by Local Government and Public Works Ministry chief director for spatial planning and development Shingirayi Mushambi in an interview with The Sunday Mail.

He said the public transport vehicles will come in three sizes, that is, train coaches, conventional buses and minibusses.

Mushambi said the Government will bankroll the acquisition of the buses which are expected to ease transport challenges in urban areas. He said:

"The government is concerned with the plight of urban commuters. We are aware that they are arriving late at work and at home, and this situation is not what any Government would wish for its people.

Working together with the Ministry of Finance (and Investment Promotion), we are increasing the rollout of ZUPCO buses, particularly in cities and towns.

As such, we are expecting 500 new buses to be imported. The first batch of 150 buses should be delivered before year-end."

Mushambi said part of the fleet will service long-distance routes including rural areas. He added:

"Government is working on a multi-modal urban transport system, which will see rail transit, mass rapid bus system and also ensure that the entire value chain associated with the urban mass transport system is enabled, from fuel to supplies for spare parts for maintenance and the system of enabling and facilitating the deployment of rolling stock to our roads."

People in urban areas are currently facing transport challenges after the Police launched an operation targetting unregistered kombis and pirate taxis (mushikashika).

On Sunday, 08 October, Police said a total of 80 146 arrests had been effected during the ongoing operation dubbed “Tame the Traffic Jungle”.