THE City of Cape Town, the Western Cape government, and Golden Arrow Bus Services have signed two memorandums of understanding on working together to establish an integrated, world class transport system.

The signing of the memorandums could pave the way for a smoother implementation of the integrated transport system in the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape which has in the past run into difficulties.

Last year, Golden Arrow approached the High Court in Cape Town claiming the negotiations for the rollout of the MyCiTi bus system with the city were not legitimate.

The transport company had asked the court to refer the discussions to mediation, and if this did not succeed, to arbitration. The court dismissed the application.

Golden Arrow’s concern was the percentage of the stake that it would get in the two phases of the MyCiTi service, and whether it was entitled to a payment for decommissioning buses and mothballing some of its assets.

One of the memorandums serves as a departure point for the imminent integration of the Golden Arrow and MyCiTi bus services to establish one bus service with unified branding, one timetable and one scheduling system linked to the integrated public transport network.

The memorandum also acknowledges that Golden Arrow is a significant role player, and will also be contracted as a scheduled bus service operator.

“The objectives of the two memorandums of understanding are to ensure a smooth and seamless transition process; to lay the foundations of a good working relationship between the different role players, and to establish the basis for an adequately resourced and expanding road-based scheduled public transport service,” said mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater Brett Herron.

He said Cape Town was committed to transforming all aspects of the city’s transport network and operations, in realising its vision of a “world-class, affordable, integrated, and intermodal” transport system for the benefit of all residents.

Currently, different transport services are being managed by different spheres of government. Mr Herron said the aim was to transform this system by locating the management of all operations at local government level to facilitate this integration.

“Transport for Cape Town (TCT) will lead this transformation process, of which affordability and cost competitiveness form an integral part.

“As outlined in the first memorandum of understanding, the city, under the auspices of TCT, will work with the Western Cape government through the Department of Transport and Public Works, which will provide advice, guidance and support, as well as performing a key oversight role to facilitate the smooth transition,” Mr Herron said.

Western Cape transport and public works MEC Robin Carlisle said these are the first two of a series of memorandums required in terms of the Western Cape Provincial Land Transport Framework.

Golden Arrow spokeswoman Bronwen Dyke said on Monday that the signing of the memorandums “provides a strong basis for the long-term relationship between Golden Arrow and the contracting authority, which can only be to the benefit of public transport users”.

Source: BDLive – Bekezela Phakathi