STATEMENT BY THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER: TRANSPORT FOR CAPE TOWN: COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON
The City of Cape Town will deploy additional buses on the N2 Express route between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and Cape Town to assist commuters who may be affected by the expected delays of Metrorail trains tomorrow, 18 April 2016. The Golden Arrow Bus Service will also deploy additional buses on routes across the city to prevent commuters from being stranded.
Firstly I want to condemn the violence and the destruction of Metrorail infrastructure and carriages that took place on Thursday evening, 14 April 2016, and the early evening of Friday, 15 April 2016, at the Kraaifontein staging yard and the Cape Town and Woodstock stations.
We cannot ignore the fact that Metrorail is in a state of crisis.
The sabotage of the service by illegal strikers and the longstanding issues with Metrorail’s infrastructure – among which defective signal systems and point detection, as well as electrical malfunction – must be addressed as a matter of urgency.I am extremely concerned about the impact this has on thousands of commuters on almost a daily basis. I am also deeply worried about the long-term consequences it holds for the local economy of Cape Town and the spill-over effect on our already congested roads as the delays force commuters to make use of private vehicles or other roads based public transport.
The City’s Transport Information Centre on Friday, 15 April 2016, received 8 297 calls, as opposed to the 4 887 on the previous Friday, 8 April 2016, and another 6 000 yesterday, 16 April 2016. Almost all of these calls related to the Metrorail service: delays and commuters being stranded and not knowing how to get home or to work.
I urge Metrorail’s management to take charge of this untenable situation.
For the past four years I have been engaging with Metrorail to try to improve the service to our residents, and we are willing to assist in any way we can, particularly with regards to the policing of their service and infrastructure. It is time for Metrorail to come to the party. The infrastructure may be old but I believe it can operate reliably if it is protected from vandalism and disruption. That must be our urgent priority.
I also urge the South African Police Service to arrest those responsible for the destruction of carriages and the sabotage of the train service.
I have requested the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) to assist us with additional buses to prevent commuters from being stranded or delayed. GABS has kindly agreed to add as many additional buses as they can during the morning and afternoon peak hours ofMonday, 18 April 2016.
Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, will also deploy between six and eight additional MyCiTi bus trips on the N2 Express route during the peak hours.
The additional buses will provide an additional capacity of at least 400 passengers during the morning and afternoon peak hours on weekdays, over and above the service’s current capacity of approximately 3 000 passengers.
The N2 Express service provides a safe, convenient and scheduled alternative to travel to the central business district:
- The first buses on Route D01 (Khayelitsha East) and Route D02 (Khayelitsha West) depart from Kuyasa at 05:00 on weekdays
- The first buses on Route D03 (Mitchells Plain East) depart from the Town Centre at05:34 on weekdays and the buses on Route D04 (Mitchells Plain West) depart from the Kapteinsklip railway station at 05:10 on weekdays.
A MyCiTi journey along these routes will cost approximately R14,80 (one-way) during the peak-hour period and approximately R11,60 during the off-peak period on the Mover package.
I remind commuters that cash is not accepted on the buses. Passengers need a myconnect card to travel and load money to pay for their trips. Commuters can buy a myconnect card for R30 at the Town Centre kiosk in Mitchells Plain, at the Kuyasa kiosk in Khayelitsha, or at the Civic Centre station.