In line with the special conditions of the interim contract, the Western Cape Provincial Department of Transport has been informed, that effective 25th May 2009; the fares charged by Golden Arrow Bus Services will be increased by an average of 8,9%.Previous fare adjustments implemented by Golden Arrow have been relatively small in comparison to the magnitude of the cost increases that have beset the company since the last increase in June 2008. Attempts by the company to recover some of the additional costs have regretfully, fallen short of target. The company has put in place measures to address rising costs through effective cash management, stringent cost controls and a process of quality management. However, the extent to which these cost increases can be effectively absorbed is limited and a significant under recovery will still be prevalent even after the proposed increase is implemented. This, along with the purchase of 120 new buses during the past twelve months, leaves the company with no option but to effect an increase in general passenger fares.

The impact of rising prices has triggered a growing demand for public transport as commuters battle to keep household expenditure levels within the limits of affordability. As fuel constitutes the primary input of businesses engaged in transport, this sector has had to bear the main brunt of rising fuel costs and associated consumables. The fare increase will therefore provide for the partial off-setting of these increased costs and enable Golden Arrow to continue providing bus services that meet the rising needs and expectations of approximately 250 000 commuters on a daily basis.

Passengers using 10-ride clipcards, which are valid for 14 days, can postpone paying the increased fares until 7th June by purchasing their clipcards on Sunday, 24th May 2009. Passengers making use of monthly clipcards, valid for 37 days, will be able to avoid the increase until 30th June by also purchasing their clipcards on Sunday, 24th May 2009.

Golden Arrow Bus Services continues to strive to provide the best service possible for its passengers and, despite the increase, bus travel remains a viable public transport alternative to traveling by private vehicle.

Source: GABS – Media