City says 41 taxi drivers from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha also reported for training to become bus drivers on service (July 15)

MyCiTi N2 Express service taking off in Cape Flats

The City of Cape Town is pleased with the manner in which the residents in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha have embraced the roll-out of the new MyCiTi N2 Express service to the Cape Flats. Read more below:

As is the custom with all new route roll-outs, Transport for Cape Town (TCT) has been monitoring the service on a daily basis and has found that the passenger numbers have shown a steady increase since the launch on 5 July 2014 – with at least 3 500 passenger trips being recorded within the first week.

Once the service has been operational for a month, TCT will be able to provide the verified number of passenger journeys recorded on these routes between Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain and the Civic Centre station in Cape Town. The City is certain that these audited numbers will exceed our expectations, as was the case when the MyCiTi service was rolled out to Hout Bay, Dunoon and Atlantis earlier this year.

‘The objective of this top-up service is to provide residents with a safe and convenient alternative to travel to the Cape Town central business district and beyond. It broadens residents’ choice and is the start of a process of bringing quality public transport to residents who are living on the periphery of the city,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

The endorsement of the service is further reflected in the interest in the free myconnect cards that the City has been issuing in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha over the past three weeks. Since 21 June 2014 to date (Monday 14 July 2014) a total of 1 617 free cards have been issued – meaning at least 1 600 residents have been registered to make use of the N2 Express service.

Furthermore, this morning, 15 July 2014, a total of 41 taxi drivers from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha reported for their first day of a 10-week long training programme at the Golden Arrow Bus Service Learning and Assessment Centre in Montana to become MyCiTi bus drivers.

Once they have passed a diagnostic assessment, learners’ licence test, driver’s licence test, and route and product training, all of these taxi drivers will be employed as MyCiti bus drivers. It is anticipated that ultimately approximately 100 taxi drivers from the Cape Flats will receive training at a cost of R29 200 per learner to be paid for by the City.

In addition, those taxi drivers who do not qualify for MyCiTi bus driver training because they are not in possession of a Grade 10 qualification will be assisted by the City through an Adult Basic Education and Training (Abet) course to obtain the entry requirements. The Abet course will focus on numeracy and literacy with the objective of uplifting the candidates’ educational qualification to a level where they meet the entry requirements for the MyCiTi bus driver training.

‘To date the City has invested more than R4,6 billion to establish the MyCiTi service as part of our broader strategy of investing in the infrastructure that will help drive economic growth, development and inclusion. The difference this investment has made in the lives of Cape Town’s residents is evident, first and foremost by providing safe and efficient public transport to residents on the fringes of the city and secondly through empowerment,’ said Councillor Herron.

In fact, the long-term operational empowerment through the 12-year contracts between the City and the Vehicle Operating Companies to operate the first phase of the MyCiTi service equates to R2,5 billion. In addition, up to 80% of the operations of Phase 1 are being run by the two Vehicle Operating companies set up by impacted taxi associations.

Likewise the public transport roleplayers in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha have been involved in the roll-out of the N2 Express service to the Cape Flats.

Following on months of complicated transitional negotiations, Codeta in Khayelitsha, Route 6 Taxi Association in Mitchells Plain, and Golden Arrow Bus Services have formed a Joint Venture Vehicle Operating Company (VOC) and signed a three-year operating contract for the N2 Express service. As explained above, the drivers of these buses are also from the local taxi industry.

Statement issued by Priya Reddy, Media Manager, City of Cape Town, July 15 2014