By Innocent Ruwende
A Chinese company, China Nanchang Engineering, has approached Harare City Council with a deal to supply 600 green energy (solar-powered) buses and additional fixed and working capital to service routes in Greater Harare Metropolitan.
The project will include a central business district (CBD) shuttle service and the Harare Urban Route will service all suburban routes.
It’s divided into Norton, Southern, Eastern and Western suburbs.
According to recent minutes of the Environmental Management Committee, in the initial stage, 35 buses will service the Harare-Norton route.
Chitungwiza will have 45 buses and Ruwa 20.
“Operations would be managed from four established depots, two in Harare, one in Chitungwiza and one in Norton,” read the council minutes. “Depots would be firstly fitted with maintenance and recharging facilities and would be large enough to cater for some 200 buses each.
“The project would have 12 battery swapping stations and they would act as charging centres. The bus types would be a new energy concept and Harare would be the first city to implement it in Africa. Transport services would run 19 hours every day from 4am to 11pm.”
Environment Management Committee chairperson Councillor Kudzai Kadzombe said the project would help the city in sprucing up its image while at the same time providing residents with decent transport.