Taxi drivers to man IPTS buses

2017-04-12 06:02
; The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality’s mayoral committee member for Roads and Transport, Rano Kayser (red shirt), and foreman Roland Pienaar at the construction site of the bus stop at the Cleary Park Shopping Centre.                   Photo: WERNER HILLS

; The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality’s mayoral committee member for Roads and Transport, Rano Kayser (red shirt), and foreman Roland Pienaar at the construction site of the bus stop at the Cleary Park Shopping Centre. Photo: WERNER HILLS

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THE Nelson Mandela Bay Metro’s bus rapid transit system is expected to come into operation by the end of June, but before that happens, the empowerment and training of taxi drivers must happen first.

According to the business plan, 144 taxi drivers - who would possibly drive the buses that are part of the municipality’s integrated public transport service (IPTS) – started receiving training from yesterday (Tuesday, April 11).

Rano Kayser, Mayoral Committee Member for Roads and Transport, said the taxi drivers are members of taxi associations who have signed a memorandum of agreement with the municipality.

According to him, the training and drivers’ license upgrade of the taxi drivers should be completed by the end of May.

“The trial run of the route of Cleary Park to the Port Elizabeth city centre and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) will also take place at the end of May.

“The IPTS is expected to start with the first route by the end of June. As far as the municipality is concerned, we are ready to implement the bus service taking into account the processes that need to be followed.”

According to Kayser, an industrial consultative committee was established after the signing of the memorandum.

“The committee has established three subcommittees. They are the empowering and training and operations, service and compensation committees.

“As part of the outcome of the negotiations the need for the empowerment and training of taxi operators was identified and that’s why the training was started,” Kayser said.

He said the operators who are directly affected by the implementation of the IPTS, are also the people who are to benefit from it.

“That’s why we do not outsource the services for drivers. The training will take the industry to the next level by professionalising it.

“The 144 drivers have the option to upgrade their code 08 driver’s license to a code 10 or a code 14. It also depends on the associations who send them for training. It could be taxi drivers and/or taxi door operators. The training will be completed in phases,” said Kayser.

He added that construction work at the Cleary Park Shopping Centre had started for parking areas for the buses.

“We have appointed one of the service providers on the municipality’s database, SP Exel Holdings, for the work and it should be completed by the end of May. As part of the project a few taxi door operators have been employed.”

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