Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Luxury coaches in trouble for picking passangers at Bulawayo hotels

by Staff reporter
03 Jan 2016 at 10:08hrs | Views
LUXURY coaches that pick and drop passengers at some of Bulawayo's hotels are likely to face the full wrath of the law after it emerged that it is illegal to rank at these sites as no bus - be it luxury, country or minibus - is permitted in the city centre.

According to the Bulawayo Public Transport Policy buses should instead rank at approved termini and then use shuttle services to transport passengers to hotels.

Some of the luxury coaches likely to affected by this directive includes City Link and Bravo, both of which rank just outside Rainbow Hotel and Intercape Pathfinder ranking at the N1 hotel.

The buses mainly ply the Bulawayo-Harare, Bulawayo-Victoria Falls and the Bulawayo-Johannesburg routes.

Confirming the recent developments, Bulawayo mayor Councillor Martin Moyo said they had already agreed as a local authority to descend on the operators and council officials were in the process of implementing the decision.

"The public transport policy is already a legal document that was approved by council and yes there is such a provision which we are now in the process of implementing. What we are basically saying is that we don't want any bus in the city centre hence the need for them to come up with these shuttle services.

"While some people might say this is impossible and unfair on our part as a local authority, I must remind them that we once had Senator Bus Services which used to rank at the Belmont industrial area, they had a fully operational shuttle service, which is what we are saying these buses should implement," said Clr Moyo.

The mayor, however, acknowledged that there was still the problem of termini in the city with the pending rehabilitation of the Egodini Bus Terminus.

"What has to happen is that sites can be identified for the time being while we work on the renovations of Egodini. Very soon the site will be handed over to the contractor then it would be all systems go from there.

"There are a lot of things in that policy that have to be implemented and the task has already been given to our town planning department to see to it that some of these provisions are implemented as a matter of urgency," said the mayor.

The objectives of the public transport policy are to promote and create a well-controlled, efficient and coordinated public transport system with the full participation of all stakeholders and to ensure the provision of a safe and efficient transportation system that meets the needs of the people during the plan period as per the City of Bulawayo Master Plan.

Section 3.1.4 which deals with luxury coaches entering and exiting the city stipulates that luxury coaches must operate from designated termini away from the CBD.

"Luxury coaches shall operate from the designated termini but may be linked to hotels in the Central Business District by means of a shuttle service. They shall enter and exit the city via designated routes," reads the policy.

This is not the first time that the local authority has descended on luxury coaches. Last year they blacklisted 18 luxury buses in the city for operating in the CBD without any known offices with requisite facilities and failing to comply with set council requirements.

The blacklisted buses included Ebennezer, Passenger Express, Mpala Tours, Mlamu Coaches, Elite Coaches, Afro-Express, Defu Travel and Tours, Hawk Coaches, Makford Distributors, Majamula Transport, Fullfilled Scripture, Trans-Africa Tours, Great South Tours, Aludali, Thamboti Coaches, Goldstar Africa Express, Platinum Coaches and Grace Liner.

Revival Motorways was also banned from operating in the CBD but instructed to now use only their Kelvin North depot.

As for country buses the policy prohibits overnight storage of buses at termini, repairs and cleaning of buses shall be done at approved depots while parking of buses within residential areas has also been prohibited.

In a schedule released by the local authority, the policy was put on a 14-day trial run on 3 April 2015 with the policy then launched on 9 May 2015 after the signing of a service level agreement on 17 April 2015.

Source - sundaynews