The City of Cape Town is facing intense backlash after the MyCiti bus service announced it will be cutting some of its services in the CBD and Table View from next week.
MyCiti announced on Monday that some services in the City Bowl and West Beach in Table View will be reduced or suspended from October.
According to News24, it added that this was in order to contain costs for providing services, following significant increases in the price of diesel.
“These changes are in urgent response to the growing cost of providing services, which has resulted from significant increases to the price of diesel in recent months. There will also be a mandatory fare increase on 1 November triggered by the ongoing, high cost of diesel (details to follow),” it said in a statement.
The bus service added that routes 114 and 115 – both in Sea Point – would be suspended, which would result in drastically reduced capacity and frequency along Main Road, a well-utilised section of the MyCiti footprint.
Coordinator for Young Urbanists South Africa, Roland Postma, said the changes would make it harder for Capetonians to use public transportation.
“It undoes the hard work the city is doing to shift our dependency away from private transportation and being more caring and forward-thinking,” Postma said.
Lorenzo Davids, CEO of Urban Issues Consulting, said it was a devastating decision and that ordinary commuters were now becoming victims of government cost-cutting measures.
“The suddenness of the decision – with five days to implementation – as well as its impact on the public, will have trigger consequences downstream for the economy and specifically for the employment sector,” he said.
Davids added that public transport was the last remaining link to income generation for those without cars.
Research consultant on Transport and Mobility, Gail Jennings, said the cost of providing subsidised public transport in Cape Town had long been a challenge, and that fuel increases added to this challenge.
“But at the same time, public transport is a public good; unlike the alternatives, such as minibus taxis, public transport is not a profit-making business but a service that enables people – particularly now during times of financial duress – to access the city and its amenities and opportunities,” she said.
Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Mobility Rob Quintas told News24 that the programme of amended routes had been surveyed based on low use and the rising cost of diesel fuel.
Quintas added that the destinations provided by the service were all still reachable via different routes.
“In some instances, the routes remain the same, but run on Saturday timetables,” Quintas concludes.
The following service changes take place on 1 October 2022:
The 114 and 115 routes will be suspended:
Passengers can still connect between Sea Point and the inner city via route 104 along Beach Road from Adderley station, routes 108, 109 and 118 along Main Road from Adderley station, and route 105 along High Level Road from the Civic Centre station.
The following routes will operate on a Saturday schedule from Monday to Sunday:
- Routes 101 and 111 will each operate every 60 minutes. These buses will run half an hour apart, ensuring a bus every 30 minutes across these two routes.
- Route 103 will operate 35 minutes.
- Route 104 will operate every 40 minutes.
- Route 113 will operate every 60 minutes.
- Routes 213 and 223 will each operate every 35 minutes.