The City of Cape Town extended its current contract with the N2 Express Joint Venture Vehicle Operating Company yesterday afternoon, 28 February 2018. The new agreement takes effect as of today, and signifies a milestone achievement where taxi associations will begin to take charge of the current operations of the four MyCiTi routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha. Read more below:
The N2 Express Joint Venture (JV) Vehicle Operating Company was formed by Codeta in Khayelitsha, the Route 6 Taxi Association in Mitchells Plain, and the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) prior to the roll-out of the four MyCiTi routes to the Metro South-east in July 2014.
‘We have amended the current operating contract which was extended yesterday afternoon. These changes signify an important milestone where the taxi associations who are part of the JV will begin to take over the operations of the N2 Express service from GABS in an incremental manner.
‘The new agreement is effective as of today, 1 March 2018. This means that Codeta and the Route 6 Taxi Association will take over the operations of the four N2 Express routes as well as the management of the MyCiTi fleet serving commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.
‘To date GABS has fulfilled this function and responsibilities, but the time has come for these two partners who form part of the JV to take over this role. They will be doing so in the coming months as the responsibilities are handed over incrementally,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.While this process is being implemented, the City will commence with negotiations for the signing of long-term operating contracts for the N2 Express service.
‘When we rolled out the N2 Express service in 2014 we started with the mammoth task of bringing decent and affordable public transport to residents who are living on the periphery of the city. The extension of the MyCiTi service to the Metro South-east, however, also brought new opportunities to the taxi associations in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha who were affected by the MyCiTi route roll-out at the time,’ said Councillor Herron.
One of the City’s core objectives is to building an inclusive city where the legacy of the past is undone through linking people with opportunities, and by creating an environment conducive to job creation and economic growth.
‘Over the past three years the City has empowered the board members of the affected minibus-taxi associations to set up and run their own vehicle operating company in a joint venture with GABS. As stated above, we have now reached the point where Route 6 and Codeta are eager and willing to take over the vehicle operations from GABS.
‘We have also assisted former minibus-taxi drivers to receive training to operate and drive the buses that are currently servicing the N2 Express routes. The GABS Learning and Assessment Centre in Montana facilitated the training of the minibus-taxi drivers to upgrade their licences from Code 8 to Code 11. We have covered their training costs as well as the costs of other personnel who did courses in administrative duties. I wish Codeta and Route 6 all of the best with the new challenge. I am eager to see how they perform,’ said Councillor Herron.
‘Our aim is to ensure that we bring taxi associations up to the same level as other major scheduled transport operators. I want to thank GABS for their assistance, especially for facilitating the training. That is what partnership is all about. I would, however, like to see us beef up empowerment in the taxi industry. From the City’s side, we are always willing to facilitate such programmes. Through this process of engagement we have learned that by working together and constantly communicating, we can solve any problem. I want to thank all those involved for working to ensure that we get to where we are today,’ said the City’s Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille.
The leadership of the N2 Express Joint Venture Vehicle Operating Company expressed their eagerness for taking over the new responsibilities and undertook to follow a hands-on approach from day one.