Municipality to engage affected taxi operators over public transport

2016-09-28 06:00

THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) is committed to rolling out a smart, integrated, safe, reliable, affordable, rapid public transport system as a core priority of the new political leadership.

This according to the mayoral committee member for roads and transport, Councillor Rano Kayser, who will this coming week engage with the affected operators.

The committee wants to engage the operators on the status quo of the Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) and present a memorandum of agreement.

According to Kayser, previous experience has demonstrated that the municipality has faltered in engaging meaningfully with relevant and affected operators.

As a result some of the operators started contesting the IPTS processes, which culminated in unnecessary delays. “The NMBM undertook to implement the IPTS, but has been delayed by challenges,” Kayser said.

“Since these difficulties are now known to the new administration, a firm commitment has now been made to deal with it and get the buses on the road.

“Lessons have been learnt and we have now commenced with the first steps towards delivering an integrated public transport system that will be sustainable, reliable, safe and primarily aimed at enhancing the social and economic well-being of the commuters and public at large.

“The Algoa Bus Company and the minibus taxi industry form an integral part of the rollout of the system and are valuable partners.

“Their commitment and acknowledgement of the importance of our implementation process enhance what we are doing,” said Kayser.

Among other initiatives that seek to deliver a workable transport system, the following have been done to date:

  • The primary public transport industry stakeholders, including bus and minibus taxi operators (through their direct representative structures), are invited to be part of consultation processes to conclude the memorandum of agreement. It is the municipality’s intention to not only enter agreements with these stakeholders, but also to ensure that operators attain real economic benefit.
  • The NMBM is engaging with the provincial Department of Transport regarding licensing of the operating company.
  • The municipality is finalising its application to the national Treasury for further funding, based on the revised plans which are informed by the lessons learnt in the previous pilot operations.
  • The municipality commenced with the preparations of the roadways and infrastructure required for the rollout of our plans, which will be in phases starting with the Cleary Park and Njoli Square corridors.

“The municipality has already been approached by some of the operators who expressed a desire to contribute positively to the IPTS.

“The municipality welcomes their support with the knowledge that their experience in the transport industry is invaluable in our efforts to establish a successful Integrated Public Transport System,” Kayser said.

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