Following two year of long negotiations with affected taxi bosses and the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) regarding the roll out of the MyCiTi bus service along the R27, the City of Cape Town is “on the verge of signing” a long term 12-year contract with the three Vehicle Operating Companies (VOCs) contracted to run the buses.
Currently the three VOCs, two of which were formed by taxi bosses— Kidrogen and Transpeninsula Investment Private Limited – and one operated by GABS, have been operating the MyCiTi bus service Phase 1A on a temporary month-to-month contract while long term negotiations have been ongoing.
During this negotiation process GABS took the City to court as they contested the market share allocated to them in the MyCiTi bus operating entities.
The Western Cape High Court is expected to make a ruling before the end of April.
Earlier this month GABS appealed to the Transport Tribunal after 190 operating licenses were granted in the further roll out and implementation of the MyCiTi bus service to the greater central city which includes Woodstock, Salt River, Walmer Estate, CBD and Table View routes.
GABS was seeking to have the licenses, which were issued to Kidrogen and Transpeninsula on March 2, suspended.
But the negotiations to put in place a long term contract have not been affected by GABS litigation, said Mayco member for Transport Roads and Stormwater, Brett Herron.
“Negotiations with the Vehicle Operating Companies are going well and we hope to finalise the agreements in the coming two or three weeks,” said Herron.
“The high court litigation by GABS remains unresolved but has not significantly retarded the negotiation progress and all parties have been actively engaged in working together to reach conclusion.”
He said the City was on the “verge” of getting the long term contract signed by the three VOCs but remuneration was still being finalised.
He said the 12-year contract covered Phase1A, being the R27 west coast trunk route and and Phase1B covered routes to Century City and Montague Gardens.
“Once we have agreed the terms of the agreements the long term contracts will need to be approved by Council – this is because they are 12 year contracts. We also need to await the court judgement. We hope to take the agreements to council for approval at the end of May,” he said.
GABS, together with Abahlobo Bus Services (Pty) Ltd and Siyakhula Bus Services (Pty) Ltd, have formed MyCiTi bus VOC called Table Bay Area Rapid Transit (Pty) Ltd (TBART), said the company’s spokesman John Dammert.
Dammert said the negotiations for long term contracts have been going on well despite the court litigation and were “nearing conclusion”.
However, he said if the court “decides in GABS’s favour” the market share issue will be referred to mediation and arbitration.
This process has the potential to delay implementation of the 12 year contract, he said.
When the 12-year contract is signed, TBART is will operate the following routes in Phase1A and 1B:
Table View to Waterfront
Wood Road to Waterfront
Du Noon – City- Waterfront
Atlantis – Cape Town – Century City
Inner City feeders
Salt River via Maitland to Century City.
In total TBART will run a fleet of 68 MyCiTi buses on these routes, said Dammert.
Kidrogen Bus Operations Director Christy Prins also said the long term contract negotiations were progressing well.
“We are not far apart (with the City) anymore,” said Prins.
Director of Bus Operations at Transpeninsula, Ghaalid Behardien, said he was in a meeting with his company attorneys and was unavailable to comment. — Peter Luhanga