The City of Cape Town’s Transport Directorate advises commuters making use of public transport services to practice meticulous personal hygiene while travelling. The City also recommends that commuters consider travelling outside of the peak-hour periods as far as possible to limit contact with other commuters and to avoid crowded vehicles.
The City will, in the coming days, implement several measures at public transport interchanges (PTIs), minibus-taxi facilities, MyCiTi stations and on MyCiTi buses. Signage and posters informing and educating commuters about COVID-19 and personal hygiene to avoid being infected will be put up and distributed at facilities.
‘We are committed to delivering a safe and reliable MyCiTi bus service to our passengers during these uncertain times. We believe that it is possible to limit the risks if we all do our part in keeping ourselves and our immediate surroundings as clean as possible. The City is engaging the vehicle operating companies who are operating the MyCiTi bus service. The new measures will be implemented in due course, and will be strictly monitored by the City. In the meantime, we advise passengers to please avoid full or overcrowded buses as your health and safety comes first. We suggest that you rather wait for another bus,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
During this time, the City will also implement more regular deep cleansing operations at the PTIs and minibus-taxi facilities.
‘The PTIs are a central point for commuters and key business hubs for informal traders. A large number of Cape Town residents, particularly commuters from disadvantaged communities, rely heavily on minibus-taxis for their daily commute. The City implores all taxi commuters, drivers and owners, to work with us in finding ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 amid the current pandemic. The risk of contact among passengers is high in minibus-taxis because of the proximity in which people sit next to each other. We ask that passengers please put their health first and try to avoid full or overcrowded taxis. Commuters should also open the windows to ensure better ventilation,’ said Alderman Purchase.
The following measures will be implemented on the MyCiTi bus service in response to COVID-19:
- The City is investigating the provision of hand sanitiser to commuters with a means to cleanse their hands when they board a bus. Given the shortage, this may take some time. In the meantime, we urge residents to travel with their personal hand sanitisers at all times and to make use of it during and after their travels.
- The City is increasing the frequency of the MyCiTi bus fumigation and cleaning practices – this will apply to the interior and exterior of the buses. The buses will also be wiped down on the inside after both the morning and afternoon peak-hour periods, on a daily basis.
- MyCiTi station personnel will seek to limit the number of standing passengers on the bus to half of the standing capacity. This is to allow for social distancing between passengers as far as possible.
- The City will be monitoring the demand for the service, and if required, we will adjust the frequency of services accordingly.
- The City anticipates a decrease in passenger numbers over the next week given the unexpected closure of all schools and universities.
The City requests all bus and minibus-taxi passengers to practise the following hygiene and travel guidelines:
- Please ensure that the windows are open
- Avoid using public transport if you are elderly or have underlying health issues
- Make use of hand sanitiser and avoid touching your face especially around the eye and mouth area
- Do not travel if you have a sore throat or fever
- Wear a protective mask, scarf or buff
- Consider travelling outside of peak hours when buses are less crowded
- MyCiTi passengers are advised to load as much money on their MyConnect cards as possible to avoid frequent queuing at the kiosks
- Taxi passengers must ensure they have the correct taxi fare amount to minimise contact with the taxi conductor
- Wait for the next taxi if you are concerned about your social distance being compromised
- Ensure surface hygiene as far as possible during the commute
Furthermore, the City of Cape Town will, together with the Provincial and National Government:
- engage with the minibus-taxi associations through their provincial and regional structures on the way forward, and voluntary precautionary measures
- implement awareness education initiatives at PTI’s in local languages to empower commuters, operators and all of those using the facilities
- increase the cleaning efforts at PTIs and minibus-taxi facilities across the city
- discuss with industry the provision of hand sanitiser at PTIs
The City has been informed that various metered-taxi service providers have increased their vehicle cleaning efforts and have provided their drivers with hand sanitisers. Both the metered-taxi and e-hailing industry realise the significant change of behaviour the COVID-19 pandemic demands.
‘We cannot achieve this on our own. Commuters have a major role to play and we appeal that everybody avoid touching surfaces whether at PTIs; in the taxi; at the MyCiTi stations or on the MyCiTi bus. Commuters should also wash their hands once they have reached their destinations,’ said Alderman Purchase.
The Minister of Transport is engaging the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO). We will take the lead from the National Government in this regard.
‘However, we appeal to minibus-taxi operators to keep their safety and the safety of their customers in mind during this time, and to adapt their business practices accordingly. COVID-19 requires an exceptional response from all of us and social distancing plays a key-role in limiting the spread of the virus. Taxi drivers are reminded to have their taxis cleaned inside out with a disinfecting liquid on a regular basis,’ said Alderman Purchase.
MyCiTi commuters will receive regular updates via the MyCiti app; website and social media platforms.