PUBLIC transport operators are reluctant to reduce fares in line with the prevailing reduction in the prices of fuel as they want to maintain their bonus margins, a union of public transport workers has said.
Since June 2015, petrol and diesel prices have gone down from an average price of $1,50 and $1,30 to $1,26 and $1,05 respectively. However, the average regional cost of fuel is $0,92 for petrol and $0,85 for diesel, while the average cost globally is 0,97 and $0,83 for petrol and diesel respectively.
National Transport Workers Union of Zimbabwe presidentNoah Gwande said the fares should have been reduced considering that “the cost of fuel is one third of all costs of the operators on any transport business”.
“Owners of commuter omnibuses have a bonus system which they expect the commuter driver to reach as a target that is why the price remains the same,” Gwande said.
“The principle is that they have not passed down the reduction to passengers due to bad business practices and unfair operations. They have been pocketing the excess from the reduction made thus far.”
He said the commuter driver is the one that buys the fuel and meets the cost as it was not included in the targeted money that the owner expects at the end of the day.
Since the fuel prices started falling at a snail’s pace in June 2015, bus fares, among other things, have generally remained the same.
The fare for a trip to the CBD from a number of suburbs in Harare has remained at $0,50 while trips from outside Harare to the capital average $1.
Generally, any reduction in fuel prices should translate to different sectors of an economy, however, locally transport fares continue to remain same.
Commuter operators expect each bus to cash in a minimum of $70 per day for those that ply in Harare.
The $70 excludes the fuel costs per day.
Experts say further reduction in fuel prices was hampered by taxes and levies which constitute more than 50% in the cost build-up pricing of fuel.