High Volume Transport

Vital transport research to ensure accessible, affordable and climate friendly transport for all.

The effect of institutional changes on stage bus performance in Harare, Zimbabwe. Transport Reviews, 14(2), 151-165

Publications with the same themes

View all

PDF content (text-only)

1A TRANSPORT RESEARCH LABORATORY The effect of institutional stage bus performance Zimbabwe changes on in Harare, D A C Maunder, T C Mbara and M Khezwana Overseas Centre Transport Research Laboratory Crowthorne Berkshire United Kingdom TITLE by 1: 7 1:1 12[Pun Maunder, D A C, Mbara, T C and Khezwana, M (1994). The effect of institutional changes on stage bus performance in Harare, Zimbabwe. Transport Reviews,14 2), 15 1-165. TRANSPORT REVIEWS, 1994, VOL. 14, No. 2, 151-165 The effect of institutional changes on stage bus performance in Harare, Zimbabwe By D. A. C. MAUNDER Overseas Centre, Transport Research Laboratory, Crowthorne, Berks RGI I 6AU, U.K. T. C. MBARA Department of Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe, H-arare, Zimbabwe and M. KI-EZWANA Urban Transport Unit, Ministry of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, Harare, Zimbabwe This paper discusses the reasons for and objectives of the Government of Zimbabwe's decision in 1988 to invest and participate directly in the provision of urban stage bus services in the major towns and cities of Zimbabwe. The initial effects of this institutional change in ownership are discussed in respect of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. Assessment is made of the (short term) effects of that decision in terms of the operational and financial performance as well as service quality provided by the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company in Harare. 1. Introduction The role of Government in the stage bus public transport sector continues to be a source of contention and debate in both the developed and developing world especially in respect of ownership and regulation. For example, in the U.K. the Transport Act (1985), which came into effect in October 1986, and a separate Local Govemnment Act (1985) affected not only the ownership and provision of stage bus services in urban areas greatly but also financial factors such as fare increases and level of subsidy paid to operators. The 1985 Transport Act was largely designed to introduce competition and a commercial environment to the U.K. public transport sector in place of regulation and public ownership. The effects have been mixed, with substantial reductions in the cost of operations (Gwilliam 1989) but a decline (unexpectedly) in bus patronage despite improved service levels (White 1989). Another aspect has been the continued growth of urban minibus operations which have generally flourished ini the de-regulated environmcnt (Watts et al. 1990, White et al. 1992). The debate about ownership and control has also been a source of contention in the developing world (White 1981, Walters 1979, Transurb Consult-Inrets 1991). For a cosderable time international aid agencies, such as the World Bank, have encourae and supported the provision of stage bus services by private operators -within a less-regulated environment (World Bank 1986). Despite this, many public transport operations in the developing world continue to be under public ownership and regulation Is extensive (Transurb Consult-Inrets 199 1). Increasingly, however, the trend both for public transport services, as well as other industries, has bel marked by a 0144-1647/94 $10.00 © 1994 Taylor & Francis Ltd. 152 D. A. C. Maunder et at. gradual move to the private sector from state control. Recently this trend has been accelerated throughout the African sub-continent under various Economn-ic Structural Adjustment Programmes that Govemnments are implementing with assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Thus, a wide spectrum of ownership and control exists in the urban public transport sector varying from completely nationalized public sector companies (parastatals) to the private sector with various permutations in between. Against this world-wide trend, the Government of Zimbabwe, during the 1980s, made a decision to invest and participate in a number of key sectors of the economy. In 1988 it became the majority shareholder (5 1 %) in the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO), the only legally authorized operator of urban stage bus services in the country. ZUPCO was estahlished to incorporate all the U~nited Transport Group's (UTG) Zimbabwe passenger transport operations (which previously were wholly owned subsidiaries of the UTG) into a single company jointly owned by UTG and the Government of Zimbabwe. This paper discusses the reasons for and objectives of the Government of Zimbabwe's decision to invest directly in the provision of urban stage bus services. It also assesses the (short term) effects in terms of operational and financial performance as well as service levels of the company both before and after 1988. The present research is a natural extension of earlier work in medium-sized Indian cities (Fouracre and Maunder 1986, 1987) and in African cities (Maunder 1990) carried out by the Overseas Centre, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) where the effects of regulation and ownership were investigated. Harare was one of five African cities studied by Maunder and has, since 1990, been the subject of intensive study by a joint TRL and Department of Physical Planning (DPP) research team. It is too soon to make a final assessment as to Government involvement in the provision of stage bus services in Harare as at the time of writing it was only 4 years since the institutional change, but an interim assessment is possible based on a number of indicators illustrated and discussed below. 2. City characteristics Harare is the capital, the commercial and administrative centre and the seat of government in Zimbabwe. The present population of Greater Harare is estimated to be approximately 1.5 million and as such has grown at an annual average rate of 8% since 1982. Zimbabwe's motor vehicle ownership per 1000 population has increased froml 39 in 1986 to 41 in 1991 (International Road Federation 1987, Zimbabwe Ministry of Tran sport 1992). In urban centres it will be considerably higher than these national averages. Although personal car ownership has also increased over the same period, actual usage may be declining, especially during the past two years, as the cost of' owning and operating a vehicle has increased dramatically. In H-arare, for example, the Table 1. Modal split () Stage Emergency Meter Motor car Year bus taxi taxi and cycle Cycle Walk Other 1988 18 7 0.5 30 1.5 42 1991 24 10 1 16 I 45 3 1992 31 9 I 17 5 36 Source: TRL/DPP Household Surveys, 1988-92. Institutional change and bus performance15 use of motor cycles and cars for trip-making has approximately halved, whilst the stage bus has increased in importance (see table 1). Walking continues, however, to be the major travel mode though its importance is clearly diminishing as the city expands in area. 3. Historical developments of public transport provision in Harare Historically, the provision of conventional stage bus public transport services in Harare (formerly Salisbury) can be divided into three distinct phases: (a) pre- 1980; (b) 1980 to mid- 1988; (c) post mid-1988. Prior to 1980, urban stage bus services were operated by the Salisbury United Omnibus Company (SUOC) which was a subsidiary of the United Transport Overseas Services (UTOS) which in turn was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Transport Group, a U.K.-based company. Thus SUOC was privately-owned. The company operated under a franchise agreement between SUOC and Salisbury City Council, giving them the right as sole supplier of stage bus services in Greater Salisbury (within a 26-km radius from the Central Post Office). The franchise agreement included the provision of a guaranteed 20% return on capital employed. The structure and level of fares were negotiated and agreed by the two parties. At the end of each financial year, the Local Authority met the difference in the event that the 20% return on capital was not achieved and this occurred on numerous occasions. Clearly, the Local Authority played a significant role in the provision of stage carriage services during this period. In April 1980, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) became an independent state. SUOC was renamed the Harare United Omnibus Company (HUOC). Since 1980 the Government of Zimbabwe has pursued a policy targeted at redressing the socio- economic imbalances which existed prior to 1980. Emphasis was placed on controlling certain key sectors of the economy which were regarded as vital. Public transport stage bus services were clearly regarded as one such sector. During the period 1980 to mid-1988 a number of decisions were made; of prime importance were the following: (a) the determination of fares became the responsibility of Goverrnment and not that of the Local Authority, notwithstanding the fact that the latter remained as a signatory to the franchise agreement; (b) an agreement in principle to review fares annually; (c) the cessation of subsidies in 1981, which principally were viewed as a disincentive for management to achieve optimum results; (d) the temporary legalization in 1982 of the informal sector 'Emergency Taxis' as they are popularly known in Zimbabwe. The emergency taxi provides a shared taxi service on designated routes; it has a legal carrying capacity of 7 passengers but overloading is common. Thus, the period 1980 to mid-1988 was a time in which Government played a considerable role in regulating the urban public transport sector. There emerged a tripartite structure of Operator, Local Authority and Government. The Local Authority, involvement was reduced to the provision of infrastructure such as bus stands and shelters, with key decisions being made solely by Government. 153 154 D. A. C. Maunder et al. During the latter half of 1988, Government made an important (policy) decision to participate directly in the urban public transport sector by acquiring a 5 1% shareholding in ZUPCO. The other 49% shareholding continues to be held by the UTG. Public transport was regarded as a key and strategic sector in which Government's participation was necessary for determining the sector's future development. There was also concern regarding the level of service that was being provided (as the fleet was ageing and vehicles past their economic lifetime were not being replaced); hence, one of Government's objectives was to ensure that an adequate and efficient public transport system was provided for the residents of Greater Harare. Government participation in this sector was meant to resolve problems that were being faced daily by the urban commuters. An important aspect to the new partnership was a 'Management Agreement' which gave UTG the responsibility of managing ZUPCO for a period of six years without any direct Government involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company. The management agreement was implemented to provide continuity by taking advantage of UTG's experience in managing stage bus services world-wide. It also enabled ZUPCO to embark on a management training programme to ensure adequate management would be available in the future. Following direct participation by Government in October 1988, a new franchise agreement between the Government and ZUPCO was agreed. The Authorized Area was extended from 26 km to a 30-km radius from the city centre, reflecting the growth of the city. Following Government par-ticipation greater emphasis was placed on the acquisition of buses and spare parts. Government ensured wherever possible the availability of foreign currency for such purchases. Participation also enabled Government to have a clear understanding of the operational and financial difficulties experienced by ZUPCO, particularly with respect to raising revenue whose only source is passenger fares. Consequently, the post-1988 period has seen frequent fare adjustments. 4. Operational and service quality performance In this section, the trends in operational, financial and service quality are discussed with comparisons highlighted between the three distinct tirne periods, but specifically between the 'pre' and 'post' 1988 periods. 4. 1. Fleet expansion and modernization Between 1976 and 199 1/92 the fleet of the former UTG subsidiary and its successor the ZUPCO Harare Division grew from 394 in 1976 to 823 buses by 1991/92, an average increase of approximately 7.3% per annum. However, there have been significant differences in fleet growth during the three periods. Prior to 1980, the fleet grew by an average of approximately 7% per annum. Between 198 1 and 1987/88 the fleet increased by an average of only 3.8% per annum. Post- 1988 to the present, the fleet has expanded by approximately 8.7% per annum. New models have been introduced following Government participation. Five M.A.N. articulated 180-passenger capacity buses (popularly known locally as train buses) and 100 minibuses have been acquired. The ageing Leyland Valiants and Mercedes buses have been scrapped, leaving a fleet comprising DAF-615 and 825's, Toyota and Mazda nminibuses and M.A.N. train buses at the present time. Clearly, in terms of the growth and modernization of the fleet, Government's participation appears to have been positive. Experience from elsewhere suggests that Institutional change and bus performance15 10 MNIBUS TRAN RJUS 1976 1978 1980 1982 84/5 80f7 88/9 90/91 1977 1979 1981 1983 85/b5 87/8 89/90 91/92 Figure 1. Average fleet age by vehicle type. Government involvement often leads to a deterioration in the fleet size and age of the fleet (Transurb Consult-Inrets 199 1); for example this occurred in Zambia and Tanzania following nationalization of the urban bus fleet. However, the average annual 7.3% increase in fleet size since 1976 needs to be assessed against the potential demand for public transport services in Harare during the same period. Just like many other cities of the developing world, the demand for public transport services in Harare has been growing at an unprecedented rate, primarily due to an increase in the urban population. The growth in population, at an approximate average 8.0% per annum, since 1982, is in excess of the rate at which the bus fleet has expanded over the same period. For example, in Harare in 1982 there were 0.7 buses per 1000 population; by 1987 this had declined to 0.5 1, and by 1990 to 0.4 1. However, the rapid fleet expansion which occurred during 199 1/92 raised the ratio to 0.55, but this is still substantially lower than the figure for 1982. The fleet acquisition programme has clearly not kept abreast of population growth. The average age of conventional buses increased throughout the period 1976- 1989/90 and only declined from 1990/91 when ZUPCO, at Government's insistence, started scrapping over-aged vehicles and replacing then with new acquisitions. During the latest operational year (1991/92) the fleet has been expanded considerably. The conventional bus fleet age currently averages 6.9 years ( see figure 1) which is approximately two years younger than the 'peak' 8.7 years reached during 1989/90. Minibuses and the five M.A.N. train buses were first acquired during the year 1989/90. The continued acquisition of minibuses since then has kept their average age lower than that of the train buses, to which there have been no additions. The average age of the total fleet up to 1989/90 was identical to the conventional bus fleet. Since then with the inclusion of the M.A.N. train and minibuses, the age of the total fleet has declined and currently (199 1/92) is 6*2 years, a reduction of one year on the previous year and two years in 1989/90. This reduction is a measure of the substantial acquisition and scrapping policy of the last two operational years undertaken by ZUPCO. 155 156 ~~~~~D. A. C. Maunder et al. I'? 19783 19,801 982p vb . C. zz.I~zMrRE-n' Figure 2. Average daily kilometres per bus. 60] *1 Cr~L CUU. 'Li0 -1 i ..... l .....1.F ] 1 ......... . ......... ; ~ S A j ' J i 1 ~ ~ 7 7 1 ......~ ... ....; 7 j .. ..9 I - ............. ... ..... ..... . .......... L Kl,4 ,,.7I [AF F: Figure 3. Kilometrage per employee daily. 4.2. Kilometrage operated The total annual kilometrage operated by ZUPCO's Harare Division has increased from 25 million km in 1976 to 62.8 million during 1991/92, an increase of 15 1% over the entire period. For the year 1987/88 the total kilometrage amounted to 49.6 million; hence, since Government involvement there has been an increase of 1 3.2 million kin, equal to a 26.6% increase, the major part taking place during the years 1989/90-1990/91 (±+ 5.1 million kmn). The total kilormetrage operated includes revenue earning and dead kilometrage; the latter are kilometres operated for which no revenue paying passengers are carried. Dead kiilometrage was not recorded until 1987/88, when it amounted to at 2i3l CL R- ri 156 70 f Institutional change and bus performance 157 -i vovT. :rAF: ---1 ............... Cf - .- . -~~~~~~~~-- .~~~~- ~ ~ -~T P A FF 1(. CL --- ------- --. ~ -- TEA p Figure 4. Staff per vehicle. least 20% of the total kilometres operated. For the year 1990/91 it had declined to 17% and for 1991/92 it had further declined to 15%. Daily kilometrage per bus, a measure of vehicle productivity, is illustrated in figure 2. It has been increasing annually from 174 km in 1976 to 236 km in 1990/9 1. However, during 199 1/92 it declined to 209 km daily. This decline is due to a critical shortage of drivers, resulting in insufficient manpower to operate an annual 18% increase in fleet size. The amount of daily kilometrage per employee (see figure 3) has fluctuated around 60 km throughout the 15-year period and the number of staff per 1000O0km has been equally stable at around 0.45 throughout the same period. 4.3. Staffing levels Figure 4 illustrates the staff per bus figure for the period 1984/85-1991/92. The trend in total staff per bus rose marginally between 1984/85-1989/90 but then rapidly increased to 3.84 but has since declined to 3.5 during 1991/92. The increase during 1990/91 was due to an increase in traffic staff as is shown by the traffic component curve. During 199 1/92 the fleet increased by 18% whereas total staff increased by only 7.8%. Thus there has been a decline in overall staff per bus and specifically in terms of the traffic component. Traffic personnel make up 60% of total staff compared to 28.5% for engineering personnel. Both administration and engineering staff/bus ratios have remained constant over the last four operational years. The traffic component, however, has fluctuated due to the shortage of drivers over the last few years, which has resulted in HUOC establishing its own Driver Training School. A substantial number of drivers were employed during 1990/9 1 but considerable numbers have since left the company. It is hoped that with a newly-introduced driver incentive scheme, the loss of drivers will be stemmed and indeed former experienced drivers will be attracted back to the company. 4.4. Accidents and breakdowns Figure 5 shows the number of accidents per 100000Okm and the number of breakdowns per 10000 kilometres. The data are the monthly average per quarter for 158 ~~~~~D. A. C. Maunder et al. ----------- .-....- . ....... . ..... .... ...... ...... H ] 2 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ .......... ... .... C)~~~~~~~~~~~~...... r~~~~~~~~ 0 ...... ~~ C) 1 -~~.3 1 1 . C)2C) I.2 4 4 2'~'.~.' ('LARTR (wi pnI1 Mrc Figure 5. Accidents/10000Okm and bradont00'm bohst fdt.Teacdetrticuigbt nur n o-nuyacdns illsrtsagauldcieoe h nir eidt h is ure f19-2 however, duin th attreqatr. f19/2i a hw itrigmria 1987/8 to Figupre10 k. ancdenthenshowik g and bralmostcns inuousdeliekom. bthevrg setsifgdat.93The accien rate, including borngthe injuryandion-injuary accid2tens illustrate was garaedua declinen fove th1ntr-pro to 08i the first quarter, euto of 199/92 Thoevr duclingte iacleast treeuto qathesrsppof 199 1/92aitmhat sown ovraditrnge marginalesb rsngw trnd. This possiably rneflects rthe reet ih nduto of ne1/2ws rlaiely ihnexpuaerience diesHoeethe acdn rate i tl osdrbylwrta during the firstf19718 quServiof 1985/86 whe therel wfervie fewropieratina vehieasuand indrivfers.wys The breyniakdowraepr 10000ieuait km theasveraen eraiticrsng shrpymurn thaapsener yeaurs 1987/8 to bordng pher 10000k anfheihwiganamst commne atngtine uoues dcineHtor in Fiue6ilsrtsthe average benp~3frteyarse199 1/92iDuing thme opertionalf dyeafro19 1/9ath rmleedution wasoin markedddelnng frocme1n3 tof0i touhe lasety qurterlareutions oftinn 38% the decionwie ispcerartrsul of theav gscrappingesand rplalcmentiof over-aged vehlicegb alnew adismore relisablerones Thecrate patsheendeof we99 k/2iaslesstad.qatro thenerateduin the whoen ofe 1987/88. fdelnngpssne wiin ies(C Smrve ervicequlterveels)dn bofhservic proidd cf-pan bie measreods inus diffrnt ways198 One keyinhtdiaoofsrieqatysth average waiting time that a6passenger incuy19,furyasltrs i prio toeoaringdto2.8 TheutResDP frsduticommnce waitDuingtime survey peinoHaraei Faigurem ilustruatelh vrg asne waiting time by elie rmor tim apofidatey,2 fromuMay 158 Institutional change and bus performance 159 50 - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ -_ _ PEAJ< '149 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ................ us ~ ~ ~ ~~~~~~ ./ ~~~~~~~~~~oFF-PEAi~' 1 U ... ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ....... ... MArY &8 JULL J' JAN 91 JUL 91 JAIl1 9:2 APRE 9 OCT 90 AFR 9)1 it T 91 MAY ':2, YEAR, Figure 6. Average waiting times. Passengers can (on average) board the first bus arriving at the stand during the off-peak and the second bus during the peak period. The fleet expansion policy has enabled more buses to be operational during the peak period. In addition, the operation of 100 minibuses currently operated on short distance routes ensures a high frequency service being offered on highly trafficked routes. This minimizes passenger waiting time and allows passenger choice between the conventional service or the minibus at a higher fare. The scrapping and replacement policy has ensured that over-aged vehicles have now been replaced by more reliable and productive buses that are operated throughout the entire day, rather than just the peak period. This has, as a consequence, enabled management to increase the minimum fleet utilization during the off-peak from a low 35% during May 1988 to the present 48%. It has also produced average passenger waiting time reductions during the off-peak period. Passenger attitudes and opinions are also a useful guide as to the level and quality of service offered. As a result, passengers have frequently been interviewed during the last two years by the TRL/DPP Project Team. In January 1991 (operational year 1990/91) and again in May 1992 (operational year 1992/93) passengers were asked to give their opinion of the stage bus service. Figure 7 shows the two years' results and illustrates a considerable change in passenger opinion. For instance, in 1991, 62% classified the service as 'Poor' or 'Bad', whereas Average (20.0%) r1160%1Reasonable ,-9.0T) Reasonable (2O0%)Vcry Good A-erage (4000%) - (30% Very Good '100jPoor 1991 (992 Figure 7. Passenger opinion of stage bus service in Harare. 160 ~~~~~D. A. C. Maunder et al. in 1992 only 29% similarly classified the service. 'Average' or 'Reasonable' were terms used by 29% of the sample in 1991 but used by 56% in 1992. Fifteen per cent classified the service as 'Good' or 'Very Good' in 1992 compared with only 9% in 199 1. It would therefore appear that passengers are of the opinion that within the intervening period the service has improved considerably. This opinion was reinforced when 56% of the sample interviewed in May 1992 suggested that 'more buses were operational than in the past', leading to 'reduced passenger waiting times', as was illustrated in figure 6. However, when the same passengers were asked in May 1992 whether the service had improved or deteriorated since Govemnment intervention (1988), their responses were as follows: improved, 36%; same, 29%; deteriorated, 35%. There were approximately equal numbers of passengers who were of the opinion that the service had deteriorated or improved since 1988. In the passenger's opinion there have been two major service improvements since 1988. The first being the introduction of minibuses and the second the expansion of the conventional bus fleet. In terms of passengers citing a deterioration since 1988 the major responses were 'a continuing inadequate supply of buses' and 'unreliable scheduling'. 5. Financial performance Total costs have increased by almost 24 times between 1976 and 199 1/92 and by 360% between 1985/86 to 199 1/92. During the latter period, cost factors such as depreciation and interest have increased by 800%, tyres, tubes and spares by 570%, and the cost of purchasing a new conventional bus by 300%; thus the company has been particularly hit by escalating operational costs. The operational costs per bus have increased by 255% in this period while the Consumer Price Index has increased by approximately 200%. Figure 8 shows the trend in factor costs as a percentage of total costs over the period 1985/86 to 1991/92. Fuel and lubricants (imported) were declining in importance during the period 1985/86 to 1989/90. Then, perhaps due to the Gulf Crisis, they 'Increased marginally in importance during 1990/91 and this trend has continued; they now contribute 20.7% of total costs. During the period 1987/88 to the present, spare parts. ----------.- 2fj . ........ rue CL X -- ------ 1 -r~~~-Ji-9 9- i4 - Figure 8. Operational costs (%). 160 Institutional change and bus performance 161 I - -------- -~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~E 1Ai2 ... .. ... .. .. .... ......... R V C 1200 ... . .. .. ..... IL ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ WT .. .. .......... .. ........ .~~~~( j.Z j C , .. ... ............. 1 F1 FT198 F 1f 8 3 ~ 7V1 Figure 9. Financial and operational performance. including tyres and tubes, continue to be the major cost component. However, the percentage of these costs has declined in line with the bus scrapping and replacement policy. Depreciation and interest show a marked rising trend and they will continue to increase in actual and percentage terms as new buses are procured by ZUPCO. The cost of new vehicles increased by 73% between April 1991 and January 1992. During the operational year 1991/92, when 164 new DAF-825's and minibuses were delivered, the depreciation and interest factor rose significantly from 9.8% to 12.9% (an increase of 32%) and is now no longer the least important cost factor. Figure 9 illustrates annual revenue, costs, profitability and kilometres operated throughout the period 1976 to 199 1/92. The revenue, costs and kilometre curves illustrate a general rising trend over the period. This would be expected as the fleet increased in size; however, revenue and costs have risen significantly over the last three operational years when inflationary factors in the economy have been significant. Revenue was always in excess of costs between 1976 and 1986/87. During the next three operational years (1987/88-1989/90) costs rose faster than revenues, probably because only one fare increase was granted during the three-year period (in April 1988) and thus losses ensued. Two fare increases were granted by Govemnment during 1990/9 1, which restored a modest profitability. Subsequently, with substantial increases in costs (total costs increased by 48% between 1990/91 and 1991/92) and one fare increase of approximately 30% being granted by Govemnment, losses ensued during 199 1/92 once more. Clearly, the cost of renewing and expanding the fleet, the cost of spare parts and fuel (all imported) plus general inflationary factors in the economy and the increase in kilometrage operated have all increased costs substantially, despite improvement's in productivity. Government recently demonstrated a willingness to increase fares, but the increases in the past have lagged behind spiralling costs and thus losses have ensued. Quarterly fare increases have already been granted by Government for the present operational year (1992/93) in a bid to ensure a return to full cost recovery and a viable return on capital employed. However, in the present economic climate existing 162 ~~~~~D. A. C. Maunder et al. passengers may well opt to travel by cheaper modes, e.g., cycle or emergency taxi or even walk, if the fares become prohibitively high. Recent results from fare elasticity of demand surveys carried out by the TRL/DPP Project Team suggest that passenger demand is relatively inelastic only for distances in excess of 1.5 km. As might be expected, the rate of return on capital employed was positive though declining between 1976 through 1986/87, with the return ranging from 23% to as low as 7% in 1983. Since 1987/88 the rate of return has plunged to a negative 14.3% during 1989/90 but recovered to a positive 3% during 1990/91. Once again, however, during 1991/92 it returned to a negative 3.9%. 6. Conclusions- This paper has examined the short-term impact of direct Government participation in the provision of stage bus services in Harare. Although it is only 4 years since Government involvement, certain trends appear to be emerging. It is evident that Government's participation has assisted in improving the level of service offered to the travelling public. The fleet size as well as its composition has increased and this has contributed to: (a) a gradual reduction in average passenger waiting time-since 1988, passenger waiting time has declined by 36.6% despite the fact that more passengers are currently travelling than in the past; (b) a significant reduction in the number of breakdowns per 1 0000 km operated over the last three years-the rate which at present equates to an average 0.93 per 10000km is attributed to the scrapping and replacement policy, implemented during the post 1988 period; (c) a high level of fleet availability during the peak period has been maintained and the off-peak fleet utilization has increased-the latter has risen from 35% prior to 1988 to the present 48%, a clear indication of the productivity of new vehicles which are capable of operating throughout the day; (d) a gradual reduction in dead kilometrage as the new buses replace the old ageing models, which were mainly used for split duties and hence garaged for most of the day due to their unreliability;' and (e) a considerable improvement in bus productivity in terms of daily kilometrage operated although this has recently declined marginally due to a critical shortage of experienced drivers. However, improvements in the level of service (appear to) have been achieved at a cost. Most of the buses have been acquired through increased borrowing, thus affecting the financial viability of ZUPCO's Harare Division. Clearly, whilst the level of service improves, the financial performance seems to be deteriorating. The post mid-1988 situation differs greatly from the 1980-1988 period when the stage bus company was in-a favourable-financial position;,. however, during the earlier period very few buses were purchased so that the fleet increasingly aged and deteriorated. The Government of Zimbabwe is currently implementing an Economic Structural Reform Programme for the country. This entails a movement away from a regulated towards a de-regulated economy, where market forces are expected to play a greater role. With respect to urban public transport no change has taken place at the time of writing. There are, however, indications that despite the apparent success of government participation a more competitive environment may be allowed in the urban transport 162 Institutional change and bus performance16 sector enabling other private operators to compete with ZUPCO. ZUPCO's Harare Division may well respond by consolidating its resources and provide high frequency services on a considerably reduced but profitable network. Acknowledgments The work presented in this paper forms part of the research programme of the Overseas Centre (Programme Director: Dr J. Rolt) of the Transport Research Laboratory. The findings are part of ajoint programme of work undertaken by the Urban Transport Unit of the Department of Physical Planning (Director: J. M. Zamchiya) and the Transport Research Laboratory. The paper is published by kind permission of the Director of the Department of Physical Planning and the Chief Executive -of the Transport Research Laboratory. Any views expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of the U.K. Department of Transport or the Zimbabwe Department of Physical Planning. Extracts from the text may be reproduced except for commercial purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. Foreign summaries Cet article dficrit les raisons et les objectifs de la d6cision, prise en 1988 par le Gouvernement du Zimbabw6, de participer financi~-rement et de contribuer au bon fonctionnement d'un rdscau public d'autobus dans les principales villes du Zimbabw6. Les premiers effets de cette initiative sont examines dans le cas de Harare, la capitale du pays. 11 est proc~d6 en particulier A une Evaluation (~ court terme) du fonctionnement, des rdsultats financiers et de l'am6lioration de Ia qualit6 du service offert par la Comnpagnie Unifi~e des Transports de Voyageurs du Zimnbabw6 Ai Harare. Dieser Artikel stellt die Grujnde und Zielsetzungen der Regierung von Zimbabwe im Jahre 1988 dar, in die Versorgung mit stddtischen Bus-Diensten in gr6lBeren Stadten von Zimbabwe zu investieren und sich zu beteiligen. Die anfanglichen Auswirkungen dieser institutionellen Veraniderung in den Eigentumsverhaltnissen werden dann am Beispiel von Harare, der Hauptstadt Zimbabwes, eriirter-t. Die kurzfristigen Effekte dieser Entscheidung werden iml Hinblick auf das Leistungsangebot und die finanziellen Erfordernisse sowie auf die Bedi- enungsqualitat, die durch die Zimbabwe United Passenger Company in Harare angebotcn wird. bewertet. Este trabajo discute las razones y objetivos detr~s de la decisi6n de invertir y participar directamente en la provisi6n de servicios de buses urbanos en los principales pueblos y ciudades. que tom6 el gobierno de Zimbabwe en 1988. Se discuten los efectos iniciales de este cambio institucional en la propiedad de los servicios, haciendo referencia a Harare la capital del pafs. Se evaltian los efectos de corto plazo de Ia decisi6n en tdrmiinos del desempenlo operacional~y financiero, asi como, tambidn de la calidad de los servicios proveidos por la compafiia Zimbabwe United Passenger Company en Harare. References FoURACRE, P. R., and MAUNDER, D. A. C., 1986, A comparison of public transport in three medium sized cities of India. Department of Transport. TRRL- RR82: Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Crowthome. FoURACRE, P. R., and MAUNDER, D. A. C., 1987, Travel demand characteristics in three medium sized Indian cities. Department of Transport, TRRL- RR 1 21: Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Crowthorne. GWILLIAM, K. M., 1989, Setting the market free. Journal of Transport Economnics and Policy... XX111, 29-43. INTERNATIONAL ROAD FEDERATION, 1987, World Road Statistics,, 1982-1986 (Geneva: International Road Federation). MAUNDER, D. A. C_, 1990, The impact of bus regulatory policy in five African cities. Department of Transport, TRRL- RR294: Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Crowthorne. 163 164 ~~~~~D. A. C. Maunder et al. TRANSURB CONSULT-INRETS, 1991, Urban transport policy in sub Saharan Africa. Sub Saharan Africa Transport Programme Conference entitled Satisfying Urban Public Transport Demand, Yaounde, Cameroon, 5-8 March 1991. WALTERS, A. A., 1979, The benefits of minibuses. The case of Kuala Lumpur. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, September 1979, 320-334. WATTS, P. F., TURNER, R. P., and WHITE, P. R., 1990, Urban minibuses in Britain: development, user responses, operations and finances. Department of Transport TRRL- RR269, Transport and Road Research Laboratory, Crowthorne. WHITE, P. R_, 198 1, The benefits of minibuses. A comment. Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, January 1981, 77-79. WHITE, P. R., 1989, Bus deregulation: the overall view. Local Transport Today, 15.11.89. WHITE, P. R., TURNER, R. P., and MBARA, T. C., 1992, Cost benefit analysis of urban minibus operations. Transporation, 19, 59-74. WORLD BANK, 1986, Urban Transport: A World Bank Policy Study (Washington D: -World Bank). ZIMBABWE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT AND ENERGY, 1992, Unpublished material. Editorial suggestions for further reading DARBI~RA, R., 1993, Deregulation of urban transport in Chile: what have we learned in the decade 1979-1989? Transport Reviews, 13 (1), pp. 45-59. Urban bus operation in Chile is totally deregulated. This is the only example in thle world where access to the urban bus transport market is totally free, and where the government does not exercise any control over the fares. This policy has been implemented progressively since 1979. Ten years later, it is possible to draw some conclusions from the experience. To summarize these conclusions, one could say that (i) the impact of deregulation has been almost exactly the opposite of what was expected: fares have risen and the diversity of services has been reduced, (ii) the reasons for this discrepancy lie less in the action of a cartel than in the specifics of urban transport supply and (iii) there is probably more to be expected from a refined deregulation policy. taking into account these specifics, than from a drive back to the traditional regulation system. (Author) DEMPSEY, P. S., 1988, The empirical results of deregulation: a decade later, and the band played on. Transportation Law Journal, 17 (1), pp. 3 1 -1 00. This article examines the experience of interstate transportation deregulation, and the likely impact that additional deregulation would have. It focuses on several of the areas in which there has been a significant adverse impact: (I) economic efficiency., (2) pricing; (3) service; and (4) safety. In addition, the question of federal preemption of intrastate transportation, and the experience of intrastate deregulation in the fewk states which have followed the federal lead are briefly explored. Also examined is the question of whether more deregulation is in the public interest, and if economic regulation is to be retained, what form it should take. The article concludes with an analysis of the public interest in transportation-the policy objectives essential to accomplish social and economic goals beyond allocative efficiency. The major domestic transport modes examined are airlines, railroads, and bus and truckinsg companies. (Author) GOMEZ-IBANEZ,J. A., and MEYER,J. R., 1990, Privatizing and deregulating local public transport: lessons from Britain's buses. Journal of the American Planning Association, 56 (1), pp. 9-21. 164 Institutional change and bus performance16 The British Transport Act of 1985 ordered one of the most radical efforts to privatize and deregulate local public services in a developed country. With the exception only of companies serving the Greater London metropolitan area, all public companies in Great Britain were reorganized as for-profit corporations; any bus company could offer any unsubsidized (commercial) bus services simply by giving local authorities notice; and local authorities could supplement the commercial services with subsidized ones but only through competitive bidding among the newly privatized carriers. This article examines the experience of the first two years of the new British policy and argues that it offers important and generally hopeful, lessons about the potential for privatizing and deregulating local buses and other services in the United States and elsewhere. (Authors) MAUNDER, D. A. C., 1990, The impact of bus regulatory policy in five African cities. Transport and Road Research Laboratory Report RR 294, Crowthorne, U.K. The regulation and control of the bus industry is a long debated topic. Proponents of free competition seek complete relaxation of controls on the grounds that market forces will generate an efficient and effective service. Others seek varying levels of control and government involvement because of perceived imperfections in market forces, and loss in social welfare. This report examines the extent to which variation in the level of regulation affects public transport performance, and any resulting effect on travel patterns. The case-study material comes from five African cities, in the population range 0-4-1 .5 million, whose public transport demonstrates a range of regulatory controls and development options. (Author) 165