The City’s plans to replace the 12-metre MyCiTi feeder route buses used in the greater Table View and surrounding suburbs with smaller nine-metre buses, as well as plans to roll out MyCiTi bus services in Salt River and Walmer Estate Route by December 1 have been postponed.
According to City Acting Executive Director for Roads, Transport and Stormwater, Dave Hugo, the postponement has been due to the Provincial Operation Licensing Board (POLB) is holding up the issuing of bus operating licenses.
Hugo said the operating licences they applied for in August has not been issued to date “because of bureaucratic processes”.
But it has also been learned that taxi associations whose routes included Salt River and Walmer Estate have lodged objections to the POLB against the issuance of the MyCiTi bus operating licences, said Transport MEC Robin Carlisle.
Carlisle said the POLB had received objections from Mowbray Taxi Association, Taxi Associations in Wynberg, the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) Western Cape and Golden Arrow Bus Company.
The objections, he said, would be heard on December 21.
Hugo said the delay in issuing the licence has made it difficult for the City to adhere to set plans. However, it has not impacted on the existing service in phase1A.
“We’ve now got to make a call if we get the licences whether to start operating during the festive season or early next year. We still remain positive and we look forward to the roll out of the service for the benefit of all our citizens and passengers,” said Hugo.
He said the City intended to replace the 12-metre feeder buses in the Table View area with smaller, more suburban-friendly nine-metre buses.
Santaco Western Cape spokesperson Robert Langebarie confirmed that they had lodged objections with the POLB regarding the City’s application for operating licences.
“City’s transport plans were not laid before us. We are not happy because we were excluded in the planning and implementation of the plans,” said Langebarie.
General Secretary for Cape Amalgamated Taxi Association (CATA) – an umbrella body of 25 taxi associations in the Cape, Nqazeleni Matayitayi, said the roll out of the MyCiTi bus service in Salt River and Walmer Estate would affect numerous taxi associations and the City sought to apply for operating licences on behalf of their partners – former taxi bosses who formed Vehicle Operating Companies (VOC’s) to operate MyCiTi buses service.
He said the VOC’s could not operate “on our routes” as the VOC’s members were taxi owners who used to have permits for routes on the west coast, not Salt River and Walmer Estates.
“They have nothing to do with those routes (City and VOCs). If there is need to improve the transport system on any route those affected (taxi associations) should operate the new system not other people from other areas,” said Matayitayi who was part of the team who lodged objections against the issuance of operating licences on Wednesday last week (subs: Dec. 12).
Meanwhile Mayoral Committee Member for Roads Transport and Stormwater Brett Herron said the City was “very disappointed” with the delay in issuing the licences as there were a lot of errors on the part of POLB. - Peter Luhanga