Ugu buses back in business

2012-05-08 00:00

COMMUTER buses were reintroduced to Port Shepstone streets yesterday after the service was halted for over a year.

The new service is subsidised by the KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department.

A spokesperson for KZN Transport, Kwanele Ncalane, told The Witness yesterday that 25 new Ugu Transport Services buses started operation yesterday morning.

He described the service is one of the most important empowerment developments in transport in the country, saying: “For the first time ever taxi owners and small bus operators formed a consortium and were awarded the contract.”

Ncalane said that 70% of the owners of the service were local BEE-compliant operators.

“It is important for local people to benefit from the local economy. We will also be providing them with training to make sure that they manage the business properly,” said Ncalane.

He said the operators had to make sure that they took care of the service and delivered on the public transport needs in the Port Shepstone area.

He said fares would remain unchanged from the last operation.

“If people were paying R7 for their bus fare they will still pay R7 now.

“All the bus routes in Port Shepstone will be covered and if there is a bigger demand for the service more buses will be allocated at a later stage,” he added.

He said the project took over a year to complete and he thanked the people of Port Shepstone for their patience.

“The people were patient and we are very happy that we could deliver the service,” he added.waiting for comment from HCM and bus operator. Will email through.

Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM) welcomed the resumption of the bus services.

Municipal spokesperson Simon Soboyisa said: “HCM fully supports and appreciates the efforts by the Department of Transport to have a bus company operating within our area.”

He said the buses would give commuters an alternative means of transport and also overcome the limitations that taxis sometimes had.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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