Statement by Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron

The MyCiTi bus service was, just a few years ago, a plan and vision of how public transport in Cape Town could be revolutionised. Fast forward to 2014 and almost a million passenger journeys have been recorded on this service for the month of March alone.

During apartheid, coloured and black communities were largely relegated to the margins of our city. We knew that in order to be the truly inclusive city that this administration has committed to build, a public transport system that would bring people who were geographically marginalised to the economic and other opportunities at the centre was paramount.

Recently, some media platforms have chosen to highlight the opinions of a small percentage of commuters who are unhappy with the service. Teething problems, and the fact that Capetonians must get used to the worldwide realities of a public transport system, like having to stand for part of or the entire trip or having to wait for their turn to embark, have been mentioned.

When viewed in context against passenger numbers, complaints represent less than 1% of the total passenger journeys recorded.

Some of the highlights of our MyCiTi journey so far include:

· On 16 February 2014, the City launched the MyCiTi route linking Imizamo Yethu, Hangberg and Hout Bay with the city centre. By the end of February 2014, total passenger utilisation for Route 108 (Hout Bay, Hangberg, Sea Poiont, Civic Centre) over this 12-day period was 2 065. This number increased to 62 210 for the month of March 2014. Similarly, on Route 109 (Hout Bay, Imizamo Yethu, Sea Point, Civic Centre) by the end of February 2014, the total passenger utilisation was 1 909. This number increased to 67 705 for the month of March 2014.

· On 1 March 2014 the City extended the main route (T01) to Dunoon. The passenger journeys recorded for March 2014 amounted to 85 212.

· Three weeks ago, the MyCiTi service to Atlantis was launched. Numbers for this route are not available yet.

In order to keep up with demand, the City added additional buses on certain routes in March 2014 to alleviate overcrowding.

As of 1 March 2014, the City has increased the number of buses on the T01 route (Dunoon, Table View, Civic Centre) from 24 to 38 during peak hours and the number of buses during the inter-peak hours was also increased from four buses (one every 20 minutes), to 10 buses arriving at 15-minute intervals.

As of 31 March 2014, two additional buses have been added to Route 103 (Oranjezicht, Gardens, Civic Centre).

As of 31 March 2014, one additional bus has been added to Routes 106 (Waterfront, Civic Centre, Camps Bay – clockwise) and 107 (Waterfront, Civic Centre, Camps Bay – anti-clockwise) during the morning and afternoon peak hours.

On 5 July 2014, the MyCiTi service will be launched in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha as part of the City’s broader strategy of investing in infrastructure that will help drive economic growth, development and inclusion, as well as to breaking down apartheid-era spatial planning.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the Control Centre contract was terminated in March and, as a result, certain functionality has been affected (e.g. real-time passenger information displays on the passenger information boards at the stations and on the mobi-site) due to the implementation being incomplete and there being no maintenance in respect of all things related to the previous contract. However, despite the impact of the cancellation of the previous contract, the City has still managed to roll out the MyCiTi service to Dunoon and Atlantis.

In the meantime, the City is addressing the issue and a Request for Quotations (RFQ) process is underway to complete the outstanding scope of works and to resume the maintenance. It is hoped that a contractor will be in place by June 2014 and the City is requesting passengers to please be patient while this process is being finalised.

The positive feedback we have received, the increase in passenger numbers, and the ongoing roll-out demonstrates our commitment to redress and the fact that we are well on our way to achieving our goal of an extensive, safe, reliable and affordable public transport system for all of our residents.