News24

Golden Arrow aims at MyCiti

2012-06-21 21:31

Cape Town - Golden Arrow Buses said on Thursday it had filed legal action against the City of Cape Town over its plans to introduce extended MyCiti bus services.

"The matter was lodged with the {Western Cape] High Court on Wednesday," Golden Arrow Bus Services spokesperson Bronwen Dyke said.

The MyCiti bus was the city's own rapid bus service, introduced in 2010 and planned for extension to other areas that Gabs already serviced.

Gabs and its predecessors had been operating road-based public transport in Cape Town for over 150 years.

Dyke said the two, along with Sibanye Bus Services and minibus taxi operators, had been in negotiation for a few years over how to operate the routes fairly and distribute market share equally.

"We are not in agreement with the methodology used by the city to allocate MyCiti operations between the three companies, which will be entering into the negotiated contract," Dyke said.

"The city has refused to refer the deadlock in negotiations to mediation and arbitration."

According to Gabs' lawyers in court papers, the city was working out the market share of each bus company by multiplying the total number of passengers with the fares collected, excluding any government subsidies.

The bus services were asking that the city look instead at the "economic sacrifice" being made in exchange for an integrated transport service, or at the total turnover of each service.

City disappointed

"[All we are asking is] that the city embark on a process that is fair and equitable to all operators, based on a sound financial formula," Dyke said.

The city, in a statement, said it was "deeply disappointed" to hear litigation was being pursued.

"The city has always been committed to open and fair negotiations with all public transport operators in the spirit of achieving this quality public transport service. We respect Gabs' right to protect their business interests, but we will not allow them to confuse their vested interests with the interest of the city and our residents."

The city said it would respond in due course to the court papers. It announced on Thursday it intended launching a transport authority in October 2012, a single body that would ideally manage all commuter-based services.

Transport mayoral committee member Brett Herron said the body would be an administrative, planning, regulating, contracting and monitoring municipal entity, to spearhead the full roll-out of integrated road and rail-based public transport.

"It will set the operational, technical and mobility standards of the road and rail network, as well as how the modes of transport work together for the benefit of commuters in the city.

"One timetable and one ticket for all public transport will be the first priority of the transport authority, under a single brand."

Herron said the focus would also be to bring into its jurisdiction the management of subsidised bus contracts, like Gabs and Sibanye.

The city would hold a series of public meetings to get input on the body. It was expected to be fully functional in July 2013.

Comments
  • Billy - 2012-06-21 21:51

    well golden arrow, if you did a good enough job in the first place, there would be no need for the myciti service.

      bernpm - 2012-06-21 22:16

      "Golden Arrow Buses said on Thursday it had filed legal action against the City of Cape Town over its plans to introduce extended MyCiti bus services". SA seems being governed by courts these days. Golden days for lawyers!

      christopher.pool - 2012-06-22 08:14

      I agree! GABS should take those old cr@ppy, smokey deathtrap buses off the roads years ago. Then perhaps there would be no need for MyCiti, or for them to feel threatened by MyCiti.

  • Andres - 2012-06-21 22:15

    Go "Bus For Us," take the city to court for attempting to provide first-world mass-transit to protect your third-world operations!

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-06-21 22:29

    My Citi is a waste of money because the bus lanes are used by taxis and motorist.

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-06-22 01:42

      Yeah those who thumbs down are the culprits.

  • adrian.hill.750 - 2012-06-21 22:32

    Competition...if their service sucks then they should hit the road.

  • Heinrich - 2012-06-22 11:39

    To All current transport groups. BRT is the future. Get over yourself and start developing your business to cope with the routes that the BRT system will take. Please stop moaning and wasting money on strikes. Competition is Competition change your business strategy!

  • tgabier - 2012-06-23 01:32

    Some good comments on this article yes and I feel people need to educate themselves on Myciti.Firstly,why it was introduced and what its heading for and who are actually targeted at the end of the day.Yes Gabs is unhappy about certain outcomes of negotiations and feel the need to go to court over it,but the matter that they going to court about is entirely different to the matter we will be facing as motorists and passengers in later years.The aim of Myciti is,for now,to get rid of all forms of existing public transport,not only taxis and busses,but trains as well and more importantly,our own cars.Why do u think E-toll was introduced in Jozi?Its to \indirectly\ force people to make use of public transport,why is our petrol more expensive than across the border when we are a more economically viable country?Yes,Im all for change,but we shouldnt rush in to something that we only know a spot of the tip of the iceberg about.There's so much more at stake here than what we are lead to believe,but because we're not affected directly,at the moment,that we can have a \couldnt-care-less\ attitude.Lets think of all the job losses we will have,can Myciti guarantee a job for everyone that will lose their jobs due to it?A country with a high unemployment rate and a first world bus service wont be seen as a step in the right direction as chaos will ensue and does anyone think it will then be safer to travel by bus?The right procedures should be followed and everyone,the current transport operators and the general public should be informed of what REALLY is on the table!

      nethanls - 2012-06-25 17:47

      You clearly don't know what your talking about do you? The government's intend was never to replace the others. The idea was for public transport to be finally what it should've been, Organised, cheap, and have by all means some sort of dignity everywhere, in Langa, as in Cape TOwn, as in Stellenbosch - everybody having the same access to service. Do a google search and you'll see the government will have to workout R400 mill annually to keep the service alive! you go take a Metro-crap train everyday from Langa, or SOmerset West to town and back, and come talk to me! Again...you've got a car, but so many poor don't own anything...at-least give them the opportunity to at least be able to use first world public transport for a change...in the end using public transport will save money, especially in using a car, and be better for the environment - so why the fuss.

      raymond.dick.12 - 2012-10-08 12:50

      Public transport, and in particular inter-modal transport, is an absolute requirment for any city. It should be the objective of city planners to get all private vehicles off of the roads. Public transport has been studied in detail (by SA engineers) for nearly 20 yrs but with no political will power to back it up, never implemented. You are obviously commenting on a subject you have absolutely no idea about. The masses of people reliant on reliable public transport aside, there are additional benefits to be derived from a properly run and administered transportation system. Less vehicles on the road means less pollution, less road maintenance costs, more cost effective travel, travel time savings, reduction in vehicle maintenance costs, employment for personnel to run the system and so on. Taxi drivers could become bus drivers where they would work under properly constituted working conditions that do not force them to drive like maniacs. The would have things like medical aid, pensions, paid leave. The stuff you enjoy. Golden Arrow and Metro-Rail have both, for some now, shown themselves to be incapable of running their existing routes. They are unreliable and filthy. (and I mean filthy at 0600 already) Big Ups to the City.

      Thabiet Gabier - 2013-07-04 03:01

      So long since I commented or even been on here and yes,I agree with what is being said by the commentators to my statement...theoreticly,u are correct. But in reality,go and see who are the people being employed by the MYCITI services...besides the drivers,let's see who else is/was employed,if I should make an estimate,between Transpeninsula and Kidrogen (PTY ltd) who are the two current operators of MYCITI there is approximately only 20% of ex-taxi industry personnel being employed in various categories,Golden Arrow runs the trunk root from Cape Town to Bayside in Tableview so they also have their own drivers associated with this. What I meant to bring across is that if only 20 out of every 100 people are employed,what's happening to the other 80?Yes,we need a proper transport system,but then ensure that EVERYONE who was formally employed in the industry u de-regulating,in the one replacing...as promised! The problem with our current transport system as with many other things in SA is that are too little competition for the stakeholders and they are able to get away with whatever they throw to the public.Let's take for example,Metrorail as u guys mentioned...who is competition for them?In the UK,as an example,there aren't just one company providing a rail service,so there's constant upgrades to what is being offered...why can't the same be done here? What's needed is to address the important things first and then the rest and what's importamt is to bring our current unemployment rate down as the busses would eventually cover the entire WC but who will need it if there's no money to even pay for a ticket to begin with...

  • Lzl.A.K - 2013-02-06 14:17

    I speak for myself when i comment on this. In my opinion, yes, the current transport systems are not functioning as optimally as they should. I have experienced this myself. But, compared to the new MyCiti buses (I've asked a few people about what they're paying currently), are way more affordable TO THE COMMUTER (Interchange tickets etc.) Also, if you think about how many people are currently on a train/bus/taxi at a time now, and think how many are "legally allowed" to be on a MyCiti bus...its an outrageous amount. Less than half of what is allowed on Golden Arrow! Now take into consideration the amount of MyCiti buses that will be operating on those routes. I agree that upgrading is the way to go, but start with what we have at the moment. It'll take as little as adding a few more (Golden Arrow) buses, maintaining old ones, making trains safer etc. And when you think about it, if we can't make the current transport system work properly, how well/viable is MyCiti going to be in the long run? Im sure only a hand full of people will be happy about this. Then you have the masses, who won't benefit from it financially, who will NOT be. I'm not saying they shouldn't run MyCiti, but think about what you're in for before you start taking away what's been "working" till now.

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