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The introduction of several new MyCiTi routes since November 2013 has seen an impressive 89% growth in passenger numbers, highlighting the demand for quality public transport in Cape Town.
Monthly passenger trips grew from 402 880 in November 2013 to 761 000 in February 2014. During this time, new services were launched to Melkbosstrand, Century City, Camps Bay and Hout Bay, while some minibus taxi and existing bus services were removed in these areas.
“The significant increase within such a short space of time is testimony to the fact that residents are keen to make the switch to MyCiTi when it rolls out in their areas,” says Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town.
The most popular area routes during this four-month period were the 214 Table View route to Big Bay, the 102 Salt River service, and the 251 Century City route.
With this growth in ridership there has also been an increase in the number of complaints being posted on social media platforms and in the mainstream media, and being logged with the Transport Information Centre.
“We are bound to experience some teething problems, and adjustments will be made once the service settles down,” Herron says. The increase in complaints should also be viewed in context. “Complaints represent around 0.03% of the total passenger journeys, although it is acknowledged that not all commuters lodge complaints.”
The main areas of concern for commuters are buses not sticking to their timetables, myconnect card penalties, and overcrowding.
Punctuality of buses
Not all routes have dedicated MyCiTi bus lanes and in many cases timetable delays were due to congestion and traffic incidents. However, there have been other improvements and since November 2013, punctuality has improved from 63% to 70%. “This is not optimal, but it is an improvement,” Herron said.
The A01 Airport service, the 216 area route in Table View and the 105 route between Sea Point and the city centre were the most punctual routes, while the 101 route to Gardens and Vredehoek, the 214 route to Big Bay and the 251 route in Century City were identified as most in need of attention.
From 31 March 2014, there will be additional buses serving the 103, 106, 107 and 108 routes to help meet the growing demand. Herron also encouraged passengers to stand on the bus. “A number of overcrowding complaints were due to passengers not willing to stand. Standing in a bus is a well-known and accepted international practice and without this measure the entire MyCiTi system would be unfeasible.”