Commuters were last night left stranded as kombi operators caught them unaware, hiking fares, with the cheapest ride from the Central Business District (CBD) to most routes being charged between $8 to $10.

Ruwa, Tafara-Mabvuku, Chitungwiza routes increased fees from $10 to $15, while those aboard an Iveco were slapped with $10 up from $7 for seated passengers only while $4 to $7 to standing passengers.

Other routes such as Glenview, Kuwadzana and Hatcliff also increased to $8 up from $5.

It is unclear why operators hiked fees suddenly, but an operator who spoke to this publication said the increase was necessitated by heavy rains that were pouncing.

“Cde we want to maximise on these rains so that we cash on time. Also our trips would be few due to rains as traffic of people travelling will be low,” Abel Simbangwe who plies city-hatcliff said.

Heavy rains poured Harare around 7pm and 8:30, but after the rains fares remained increased.

A commuter Ms Fungisai Mutema said government should avail more zupco buses to rescue hard pressed citizens.

“I get an average of $500 per month, so if l pay $20 to and from home daily it means all my salary can’t even cover up for my transport welfare,” she said.

Mr Tafadzwa Nyandimu also pleaded for zupco buses.

The Zupco buses are still a handful compromising its capacity to fully service all routes effectively.