Memorandum of agreement signed for first phase of IPTS

2016-12-21 06:02

THE first phase Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s Integrated Public Transport System, the Starter Service, may be realized sooner than expected.

One of the affected taxi associations, the Northern Areas Taxi Operators Association (NATOA), agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Municipality in a meeting last week.

The member of the Mayoral Committee for Roads and Transport, Rano Kayser, said they have identified two taxi associations, namely NATOA and Algoa Taxi Association (ATA), whose services stand to be impacted by the introduction of the IPTS starter service in 2017.

“Our surveys of current services operating on the Cleary Park route also picked up a number of Algoa buses on the route. We have therefore started preliminary discussions with the industry in general and with three of the potentially affected starter service operators,” said Kayser.

Kayser said it was their aim to establish a consultative structure through which consultations and negotiations for the commencement of the starter service and the roll out of IPTS services could take place.

“The memorandum of agreement sets the terms of engagement similar to agreeing to the rules of the game before we run onto the field,” said Kayser.

Chairperson of NATOA, Chris King, reiterated that his association had been ready for some time to take the lead in this exciting development. “The time has come for affected operators and the municipality to join hands in starting the process of improving public transport in our metro,” King said.

The starter service will see the deployment of the existing bus fleet to the Cleary Park route and is aimed at complementing the existing services.

It is envisaged that the affected operators on the Cleary Park route will form a vehicle operating company that will be contracted for an interim period of up to three years during which time preparations will be undertaken for the roll out of IPTS services to areas like Njoli, Uitenhage and Despatch.

Kayser said discussions with ATA and Algoa bus were well underway and it was anticipated that they would join the industry consultative structure soon.

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