The Government of Zimbabwe has recently introduced a new digital Route Permit system for public service buses. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development has implemented this system as part of its efforts to modernize the country’s economy using ICT and digital technologies. This new digital system aims to enhance the efficiency and security of the public transportation system while ensuring compliance with existing regulations.
Benefits of the Digital Route Permit System
The introduction of the digital Route Permit system for public service buses offers several benefits to both the government and bus operators. Some of the advantages of this system include:
- Improved Security Features-the digital Route Permit system has enhanced security features and counterfeit deterrence measures, making it difficult for fraudsters to forge or tamper with permits. Each permit has a digitally signed barcode that is readable by any mobile phone, making it easy for traffic law enforcement agents to verify and validate the authenticity of the permit.
- Integration with Central Vehicle Registry and Insurance Companies-the new ICT system for processing the Route Permit is fully integrated with the Central Vehicle Registry to validate vehicle licensing and registration details. This integration ensures that only roadworthy and registered vehicles are allowed to operate on public roads. The system is also integrated with insurance companies to validate statutory third-party motor insurance and passenger liability cover, ensuring that all buses are adequately insured before being issued a Route Permit.
- Convenience for Bus Operators-Bus operators will enjoy the convenience of reduced waiting times when they apply for the new Route Permit issued at Road Motor Transportation Offices situated in all the provincial centres across the country. The new digital system eliminates the need for manual processing of permits, reducing the waiting time for bus operators and streamlining the application process.
- Better Monitoring of Supply of Buses-From a transport planning perspective, this new system will enhance the government’s capacity to monitor the supply of buses on all routes. The government can regulate competition in the passenger transport sector and avoid route over-saturation by keeping track of the number of buses operating on each route. This ensures that the transport sector operates efficiently, and passengers have access to safe and reliable transport services.
How the Digital Route Permit System Works
The digital Route Permit system is issued in terms of Section 12 of the Road Motor Transportation Act [Chapter 13:15]. The new ICT system enables bus operators to apply for a Route Permit online through the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development’s website or by visiting the Road Motor Transportation Offices in all provincial centres across the country.
The system then processes the application, and once approved, the Route Permit is issued with a digitally signed barcode that is readable by any mobile phone. The digital system also allows for the real-time verification of Route Permits, ensuring that only valid permits are in circulation.
The digital Route Permit system is user-friendly, and bus operators can easily access their permits using a mobile phone. Law enforcement agents can also verify the authenticity of permits using their mobile phones, making it easier to detect and prevent fraud.
The introduction of the digital Route Permit system for public service buses is a significant milestone in Zimbabwe’s transport sector. This new system offers several benefits, including improved security features, integration with central vehicle registry and insurance companies, convenience for bus operators, and better monitoring of the supply of buses. This system is also expected to enhance the ease of doing business in the transport sector while ensuring compliance with existing regulations.
As the transport sector evolves, the Zimbabwean government is committed to ensuring that the sector operates efficiently and that passengers have access to safe and reliable transport services. The digital Route Permit system is just one of the many initiatives that the government is implementing to modernize the country’s transport sector and drive economic growth.
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