Govt mulls commuter trains to ease congestion in city centers

Government says it working on reviving commuter trains in urban centers to ease traffic congestion during peak hours.

Cities such as Bulawayo and Harare are currently experiencing traffic jams in the central business district especially during peak hours with residents calling for responsible authorities to come up with a solution.

In Bulawayo, the situation has been further compounded by the closure of Egodini terminus to pave way for the commencement of the $60 million Egodini Mall project by a South African engineering firm, Terracotta.

This led to commuter omnibuses moving to temporary operating mostly along busy streets which has led to more congestion.

Speaking in the Senate, Wednesday, Senator Alice Chimbudzi, asked the Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Joel Biggie Matiza to explain measures being taken to ease traffic congestion during peak hours in city centres.

In response, the minister said government was working on bringing back commuter trains.

“While it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for the management and design of road infrastructure and services in the urban areas, my ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing plans to provide rail services at peak hours where rail infrastructure exists,” the minister said.

Since the collapse of the public transport system, private players have emerged to provide transport services to millions of commuters.

However, some are operating illegally which has led to constant clashes between registered transport operators and pirate taxis who has resorted to this business due to the collapse of the economy and high levels of unemployment in the country.

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