Trains, taxis go extra mile as bus strike leaves commuters stranded

2017-04-12 11:30
Golden Arrow bus. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Golden Arrow bus. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Stranded commuters formed queues at minibus taxi ranks and forced their way into already overcrowded trains on day one of a nationwide bus strike on Wednesday.

- Are you affected? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Traffic services warned they would be monitoring minibuses for overloading as desperate bus users had find alternative transport to get to work.

Senior Cape Town traffic officer Richard Coleman told News24 that peak hour on Wednesday morning hadn't been much different than normal. It appeared most motorists had travelled to work earlier in anticipation of extra traffic.

The dedicated bus and taxi lanes, however, showed that more taxis were operating, he said.

Golden Arrow Bus Services, MyCiTi, Go George and Putco bus operations were among the services suspended as staff joined a national strike after wage negotiations deadlocked.

Golden Arrow said unions that were party to the SA Road Passenger Bargaining Council on Monday gave notice of their intention to strike.

Operating hours

George municipality spokesperson Chantel Edwards-Klose said a small group of drivers reported for work on Wednesday morning, which allowed it to deliver a limited service on two of its main routes during the early peak hour.

"However, in light of the safety of these drivers and to protect them against possible victimisation and intimidation relating to the national strike, these services will not be operational for the rest of the day and all Go George services remain suspended until further notice," she said.

Metrorail would extend its operating hours to accommodate those commuters left stranded by the strike.

In a service advisory it said all platforms would be cleared before trains stopped operating for the night, and its schedule may be adjusted to cope with additional passengers.

LIVE: Nationwide bus strike leaves commuters stranded

Golden Arrow bus clip cards would be accepted on trains.

Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said regular commuters should expect extra volumes.

"We acknowledge that peak trains are already full and appeal to all train users to be patient, courteous and to assist fellow commuters," he said.

Transport portfolio committee chairperson, Dikeledi Magadzi, said she was concerned about the strike, which was happening just days before the Easter weekend.

"The national bus strike is set to inconvenience the country in proportions not witnessed before. A lot of people around this time are commuting by road to be with families. The stakes are high and all assistance, particularly from law enforcement agencies, is required so that the safety of road users is not compromised," Magadzi said.

"The taxi industry, long- and short-distance, will be under a lot of pressure. Hence drivers should exercise caution and at all times stick to the rules of no overloading and no speeding."

Are you affected by the bus strike? Send us your eyewitness accounts and pictures

Read more on:    golden arrow  |  metrorail  |  cape town  |  strikes  |  transport

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