SCORES of commuters in Bulawayo were yesterday stranded after commuter omnibus operators hiked fares, some doubling them during peak hours, citing fuel shortages that have forced them to source the commodity from the black market.

Commuters who spoke to The Chronicle at the City Hall terminus yesterday said the transport challenge started last week, but worsened yesterday. Zupco buses and kombis were not on many routes.

In interviews, passengers said they ended up opting for pirate taxis, mostly Honda Fit vehicles, which however charged exorbitant fares of up to $15 per trip, especially in the evenings.

Another resident decried the transport problems.

“Zupcos no longer come here.They all go to the Sekusile (Nkulumane 5) route because they say it is short and profitable. Kombis charge $6 but some mornings they will say $7 or even $8, in the evening. So, it’s now best to just board trucks,” said Mr Cain Mhlanga from Emganwini suburb.

Kombi operators said they had increased fares as they were buying fuel from the black market, which is expensive.

-State media

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