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Statement by Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron
On 28 August 2013, the Cape Town City Council approved the 12-year contracts to be entered into between the City and MyCiTi’s Vehicle Operating Companies (VOCs), making a major expansion of the MyCiTi bus service possible.
Three identified VOCs that have been established by minibus-taxi owners will be tasked with operating parts of the MyCiTi service during the initial roll-out of the system. The contracts have been approved after three rounds of public participation that occurred between June 2010 and June 2013.
The VOCs will be responsible for: operating the buses, in accordance with the timetables and routes as stipulated by Cape Town’s MyCiTi team; maintaining the buses they are allocated to operate on these routes; and managing the bus depots and staging areas.
The success of MyCiTi depends on a number of factors. Firstly, the majority of the current minibus-taxi operators must agree to having their operating licences suspended, and to scrapping their vehicles in favour of a shareholding in one of the VOCs. Secondly, competing bus companies must give up their subsidies for competing routes.
Taking the above into consideration, a long-term, 12-year contract was necessary to make an attractive offer to current public transport operators. The long-term contract also incentivises the companies to maintain the vehicles, which is beneficial to both the City and the companies themselves.
Vehicles that are well-maintained are more reliable and cheaper to run, especially as they get older.
This is a really exciting development in the MyCiTi journey. We are ever closer to realising our vision of a truly Inclusive City in which all people, even those who were forcibly relegated to the city’s margins, have access to reliable, safe and affordable public transport.
The operation of the bus services outlined in these contracts will be funded by grant revenue from the National Government’s Public Transport Infrastructure Grant, the Public Transport Network Operating Grant, the Public Transport Operating Grant, and fare and advertising revenue.
The City is also contributing a portion of its annual rates revenue to the project. A limit of 4% of rates was agreed to by Council but only an estimated 2% of the revenue from rates is expected to be used for the operating costs of the first phase of the 12-year contracts.