THE commemoration of 150 years of providing commuter bus services to the communities of Cape Town dominated the GABS calendar of events last year.

Following months of intensive negotiations and planning, Golden Arrow was appointed as one of the three companies that form the vehicle operator companies contracted by the City to operate the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses in the interim phase 1A.

The R42.3 million Southgate depot in Philippi was inaugurated during the year, and is the first to be built since the Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI) group took over GABS in 2004. The bus recapitalisation drive, which has seen the addition of 485 buses at a cost of R500 million to the fleet, will be given a dramatic boost with the planned delivery of 130 new energy-efficient buses this year.

The administration of public transport subsidies is this year set to be transferred to the City and new entities such as the Intermodal Planning Committee, Land Transport Advisory Board and Municipal Entity, will be established.

All of these will involve significant administrative adjustments amongst the various spheres of government and current public transport operators.

Focused commitment from all parties will be required during this transition to ensure the integrity of the new operating systems and the avoidance of unnecessary inconvenience to commuters, a GABS spokesperson says.

GABS’ main focus remains the welfare of its passengers and through on-going strategic realignment of resources; the company is well positioned to address the impending challenges and perform at levels that meet the expectations of all of stakeholders.

Source: Cape Business News