WITH several countries, including Zimbabwe, facing the grim prospect of a third wave of the deadly coronavirus if they do not guard against complacency, VAYA Mobility has put in place measures to keep it passengers and workers safe at a time students have started going back to school.
The Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe’s ride hailing unit is providing safe shuttles for schools and corporates, with its minibus option for five or more passengers offered with a personalised door-to-door “pick and drops” passenger service.
Mrs Dorothy Zimuto, VAYA Mobility’s chief executive officer, said the company was playing a critical role in the transport sector by getting the country’s economy moving again while curbing the spread of COVID-19. The respiratory disease has claimed over 1 500 lives in Zimbabwe and affected over 36 480 people.
“Even during a pandemic, public transport remains the backbone of sustainable mobility and is essential to economic recovery. At VAYA Mobility, we are prioritising the health and safety of all citizens by providing reliable, efficient and safe transportation through our shuttle services,” she said.
The government has been urging citizens to exercise caution and to be on high alert in observing social distancing, wearing face masks and regularly sanitising hands to curb the spread of the disease.
VAYA, which has used its more than 400 shuttle buses to ferry frontline workers (nurses, doctors and other healthcare personnel) to and from public hospitals, is not new in promoting public health and supporting economic activity.
Mrs Zimuto said the VAYA School Shuttle Bus Service, which picks up schoolchildren from their homes and drops them off at school and back, is dependable and offers parents peace of mind knowing their children are safe.
“Our buses are extensively and frequently cleaned and disinfected using methods prescribed by the World Health Organisation. Our drivers are strict in sanitising all passengers before they get onto the buses, while ensuring that safe physical distance is maintained inside the buses. We do not overload our shuttles,” Mrs Zimuto said.
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According to VAYA safety procedures, proper face covering (wearing of masks) is mandatory for all passengers utilising the shuttle service.
Passengers not wearing a face mask are not allowed to board the shuttles.
Mrs Zimuto said the school shuttle service had been operating since last year, and was extensively used by many schools in Harare, among other cities.
“The service is very reliable and efficient. All the vehicles have a tracker so parents don’t have to worry about the whereabouts of their children,” Mrs Zimuto added.
VAYA, the country’s largest transport and hail riding provider, boasts tens of thousands of vehicles on its digital platform. The vehicles include cars, trucks, tractors and water tankers.
Mrs Zimuto said the VAYA Corporate Shuttle was helping companies and organisations to transport their staff to and from work, playing its part in assisting workers to safely access to their workplaces, thus keeping products and services available during the pandemic.
“The Corporate Shuttle is a very convenient service aimed at assisting companies and organisations support their employees with transport in this difficult environment,” Mrs Zimuto said.