Cape Town – The wheels are in motion for the launch of the N2 Express MyCiTi service to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha which is set to launch next month after an initial six-month delay, says the City of Cape Town.

The N2 Express was meant to be the first phase of the MyCiTi service to reach predominantly coloured and black areas but was delayed in December for several reasons such as buses not being ready and negotiations with affected taxi organisations and Golden Arrow Bus Services not being completed.

The DA-run city has been criticised since the launch of the MyCiTi service in 2011 for not reaching coloured and black areas, but mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said yesterday that the N2 Express was ready to be rolled out on July 5.

Since December the service has been rolled out to Hangberg in Hout Bay and Atlantis and several other areas.

The N2 Express will see buses travelling from stations in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain to the city centre using dedicated bus lanes on the N2.

It is set to transport 3 000 passengers each day in peak- hour periods.

On Tuesday

Herron said there were currently no challenges that could threaten the launch of the service. Forty buses have been procured for the N2 Express, 20 are 12m low-floor buses and an additional 20 new 18m low-floor buses are scheduled to be added to the service later this year.

The city has said that unlike in other phases, the N2 Express will not mean that taxis and Golden Arrow buses have to exit the route. This will be a top-up service.

Asked about the negotiations between the city and affected taxi associations and Golden Arrow, Herron said: “Transitional and other negotiations are at an advanced stage and are progressing well with the industry parties who are directly affected by the N2 Express service.

“Agreement has also been reached between the three stakeholders, Codeta (Khayelitsha), Golden Arrow Bus Services and Route 6 Taxi Association (Mitchells Plain). Contracts should be finalised, approved and signed soon.”

Herron said the training of bus drivers with Golden Arrow had already started. A second group of drivers from taxi associations were also set to be trained.

Herron said a number of the drivers would require additional training to obtain their code 11 driver’s licences.

Drivers who did not have Grade 10 would attend Adult Basic Education and Training courses paid for by the city to obtain Grade 10 certificates.

Source: Cape Times – Zara Nicholson