News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday November 22nd 2017

New airport shuttle efficient and friendly, but empty

Bianca Silva

A welcoming committee of dancers, musicians and puppeteers greets people at the airport in front of the new MyCiti airport shuttle station. Photo: Bianca Silva/WCN

Dancers, musicians and puppeteers await commuters getting off the new MyCiti airport shuttle. Photo: Bianca Silva/WCN

The MyCiti shuttle service to and from the Cape Town International Airport, launched on 29 May as a permanent component of the city’s Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system, is running smoothly for the FIFA World Cup, albeit with very few passengers.

For a R50 one-way ticket, purchasable from the platform between the Civic Centre on Hertzog Boulevard in central Cape Town, you can take a 20 minute trip to Cape Town International Airport on one of the busses leaving every 15 minutes.

The public transport has the efficiency of Europe but the heart of South Africa. When the bus-driver sticks out his hand he’s more likely going to want to shake your hand or give you a hug for the World Cup than ask to check your ticket.

Livingstone Mtuzula is one of the bus drivers who started shuttling MyCiti passengers at the end of last month. At the moment he sees between 10-15 passengers per trip.

“I don’t think people know about the service,” said Mtuzula, “some people are still using the metered taxi’s and those are very expensive.”

Officials are hopeful that passengers numbers will pick up.

“The take up of the service has not been as good as we expected it to be. But in some respects that is not a bad thing as it has allowed us to iron out the system,” City spokesperson Kylie Hatton.

“We’ve noticed it’s picking up,” said Hatton who anticipates more people using the service in the near future, with a marketing campaign to kick off this week aimed at increasing awareness of the service.

Travelling to the airport during the World Cup, passengers can expected to be welcomed by the Vuvuzela Orchestra as they entertain soccer fans gathered outside of the departures and arrivals terminals.

The young group of dancing vuvuzela, drum and trumpet players in overalls and decorative construction hats from Nyganga and Gugulethu form part of Cape Town’s airport welcoming committee, organised by Performing Arts Network of South Africa (Pansa), Cape Town Tourism and ACCSA.

“The response has been awesome, they (the vuvzuela orchestra ) has drawn the biggest crowds,” said Daniele Tripepi, site manager for the committee.

They perform balletic dances and dance with the oversized red and blue puppets Kilimanjaro and the Warrior Princess, who encourage the audiences to “take a photo,” “make a jive,” “take a five,” or “blow the vuvuzela.”

Tags: Cape Town International Airport, MyCity

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