IPTS ready to roll

2017-10-11 06:01
NMB Executive Mayor Athol Trollip addressed the media inside one of the buses during the Transport Month launch recently held in Cleary Park.            Photo: THANDI SETOKOE

NMB Executive Mayor Athol Trollip addressed the media inside one of the buses during the Transport Month launch recently held in Cleary Park. Photo: THANDI SETOKOE

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NELSON Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, has said that the long-awaited Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) will be rolled out at the end of the month.

Trollip was speaking at the launch of Transport Month outside the Cleary Park Shopping Centre last Tuesday.

The postponement of the roll out date for the bus system followed several years of delays in getting the project off the ground.

Speaking at the launch, the mayor said, “Transport Month is a time when we as service providers need to apply our minds on how we can make sure that people commute safely because more and more people are commuting and fewer people are owing motor cars.”

The first roll out would service the Cleary Park routes. The project would eventually expand to other parts of the city such as Motherwell, the Wells Estate route and Uitenhage.

“The Njoli route is the next route that we have identified and we are making great progress there with the taxi associations,” Trollip said.

Member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for transport, Councillor Rano Kayser described the purpose of the IPTS as threefold – reliability, cost effectiveness and safety.

“Each bus will have a video camera monitoring the bus, which is linked to the operational centre at the fire station.

“We are going to keep track of every movement of the bus.” If all goes according to plan, the buses will start operating by the end of the month when drivers are expected to receive their code 14 driver’s licenses.

“It’s critically important that whoever is driving these buses is qualified to do so because it’s all about safety while commuting.

“So, people need to know that they are going to get onto a bus that is driven by a competent, certified person because if there’s an accident and that person is not qualified, then there’s a massive problem,” Trollip explained.

Kayser said they were currently in the process of empowering 100 taxi operators through code 8, code 10 and code 14 licenses.

“The selection process was done through recommendations from the taxi associations.” He added that the municipality is also negotiating bursaries with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) to train students so that they can also become part of the project.

“The transport sector is a growing sector, especially the public transport sector.

“We intend to skill our youth because we understand that in order to have a growing economy, we must have an educated society,” he said.

With the hope of creating more opportunities with the growth of the integrated transport system, the mayor said, “Taxis will play a destination role in the city for a long time, but as we roll out the IPTS, we’re hoping that more people will make use of the system.”

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