The ongoing operation “Tame the Traffic Jungle” is causing serious transport problems in Harare as commuter operators (Combis) are now limiting their movements to ferry people from residential areas into the Central Business District because they are being arrested by the police.
Combi operators that have all the required licences and registrations to operate are taking advantage of the impasse to charge exorbitant fares to the commuting public, leaving them in a dire situation.
The operation, which started at the beginning of September has seen 1 987 vehicles being impounded and 190 900 drivers being arrested for violating road rules and regulations. The majority of those that are being targeted are commuter operators (Combis).
The unintended consequences of this crackdown have left commuters stranded, as commuter omnibuses are nolonger able to access the city centre. Residents from Chitungwiza are the most affected people by this impasse, as they are now being dropped at locations that are far away from the CBD.
Some are dropped off at the intersection of Seke Road and Glenara Drive, popularly know as Pa Coca Cola. Others are dropped off in Arcadia or at ABC Auctions which is a walking distance from town. This comes after they are charged a bus fare of $2.50, which is double the price they were charged before the operation.
The consequences of these transport challenges have been far-reaching and have affected the daily lives of residents in Harare. Commuters now face longer and more arduous journeys, which can lead to increased fatigue, decreased productivity, and strained personal relationships. The inability to reach their destinations efficiently has also resulted in missed appointments, delayed work schedules, and potential financial losses.
To address these pressing transport challenges, it is crucial for the relevant authorities to take prompt action. A multi-faceted approach can include coordinating with transport operators to find alternative to sure that they comply to the traffic laws while providing efficient transport services to the residents. They should find each other to implement comprehensive traffic management strategies that balance enforcement with the smooth flow of traffic.
It is imperative that the government, law enforcement agencies, and public transport operators work together to find sustainable solutions that prioritize the needs of Harare’s residents.
Harare’s transport challenges, exacerbated by the extended police operation “Tame the Traffic Jungle,” have created significant hardships for commuters. The restricted access of commuter omnibuses to the city centre, coupled with the scarcity of change, has disrupted the daily lives of residents, compromising their time, energy, and financial resources.
Addressing these challenges requires a collaborative effort from various stakeholders, with a focus on improving public transportation infrastructure, ensuring the availability of smaller denominations, and implementing effective traffic management strategies. By doing so, Harare can work towards creating a more efficient and accessible transport system that serves the needs of its residents and contributes to the city’s overall development.