VAYA Mobility and the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (Zupco) today unveiled ‘Vaya neZupco’, a partnership that will give the travelling public the convenience to book seats on long-distance buses ahead travel, and peace of mind, as passengers will get travel insurance cover.
The strategic partnership, which is set to transform the country’s public transport sector and bring convenience to hundreds of thousands of travellers, comes at a time when innovative mobility services are offering more choices and greater travel options to millions of travellers around the world.
Mr Givemore Jojo, the CEO of VAYA Technologies which manages the platform-based Vaya Mobility business, said the COVID-19 pandemic had underlined the importance of bringing convenience and improved safety to the public transport industry, which plays a crucial role in connecting people, in business and commerce, and in transporting goods and services and driving sustainable development.
“In this partnership, our customers and the public can now undertake long-distance travel by simply booking a ride in a Zupco bus from their mobile phone, using the VAYA App, and they get to pay the fare via EcoCash,” he said.
“This will save money and time, and protect our travellers from rowdy touts at the point of boarding. It also eliminates the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the risks associated with travel using unregistered private and public vehicles,” Mr Jojo added.
The event was attended by senior executives from Zupco, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, VAYA Technologies and Cassava Smartech, among other organizations. It was also attended by members of the media.
Speaking at the launch event, Mrs Dorothy Zimuto, a senior executive at VAYA Mobility Zimbabwe, said passenger convenience and safety was a priority for her company, which is why the partnership with public transport provider Zupco made sense to her.
“The safety and convenience of the travelling public is something we value. That is why we were only too happy to partner with Zupco and bring our technology to serve the public,” she said.
Mrs Zimuto said to book a trip, one simply needs to download the Vaya Africa mobile App, click on ‘ride mobility’, select ‘bus service’, enter trip details and select a bus based on time and fares. The traveller is then required to add their passenger details, confirm details and then make payment.
She said the fintech group was using various digital platforms and synergies among its business units to help the public enjoy a safe, affordable and convenient passenger transportation service that is easily booked from anywhere at any time via the convenience of the VAYA App which is available on the Apple App store and on Google Play stores.
VAYA has also partnered Ecosure to offer passenger insurance amounting up to ZW$50 000 in the event of an accident on the road resulting in hospitalisation, disability or death. This insurance is for every passenger that books and pays for their intercity travel ticket via the ‘Vaya neZupco’ App or the Web portal.
Speaking at the launch event, guest of honour Dr Engr T Garikai, Pro Vice Chancellor at the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), said in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was particularly important to rebuild confidence in public transport by making it safe, affordable, reliable and efficient.
“It is through the introduction of such life-changing innovations as the online booking system we are launching today, which is designed to bring convenience and order to the sector, that we can modernise our public transport system,” he said.
Engr Garikai said the launch of the ‘VAYA ne ZUPCO’ partnership and online booking platform is aligned to global trends of public and private sector partnerships, and the use of technology in public transport to transform people’s lives.
“I hope that this innovation and partnership, which will initially support passengers travelling between Harare and Bulawayo, will quickly be rolled out throughout other cities and across the country, so that our people can benefit from this smart partnership,” he added.
Since its launch less than two years ago, VAYA has become Zimbabwe’s largest ride-hailing service and has provided transport for workers, students, tourists and citizens across the country, while at the same time creating thousands of jobs for VAYA partners (drivers).
VAYA Technologies is a part of Cassava Smartech, the fintech corporate group listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.