N2 Express joint venture extended

2018-03-06 06:00
The leadership of the joint venture with City officials.

The leadership of the joint venture with City officials.

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The City of Cape Town extended its current contract with the N2 Express Joint Venture Vehicle Operating Company on Wednesday, with the new agreement taking effect on Thursday.

The move signifies a milestone achievement where taxi associations will begin to take charge of the current operations of the four MyCiTi routes in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha.

The N2 Express Joint Venture (JV) Vehicle Operating Company was formed by Codeta in Khayelitsha, the Route 6 Taxi Association in Mitchell’s Plain, and the Golden Arrow Bus Service (Gabs) prior to the roll-out of the four MyCiTi routes to the Metro South-east in July 2014.

“We have amended the current operating contract which was extended yesterday afternoon. These changes signify an important milestone where the taxi associations that are part of the JV will begin to take over the operations of the N2 Express service from Gabs in an incremental manner. The new agreement is effective as of 1 March. This means that Codeta and the Route 6 Taxi Association will take over the operations of the four N2 Express routes, as well as the management of the MyCiTi fleet serving commuters from Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha,” says Mayco member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron.

“To date Gabs has fulfilled this function and responsibilities, but the time has come for these two partners who form part of the JV to take over this role. They will be doing so in the coming months as the responsibilities are handed over incrementally,” says Herron.

“While this process is being implemented, the City will commence with negotiations for the signing of long-term operating contracts for the N2 Express service.”

Herron adds that when the N2 Express service was rolled out in 2014, the City started with the mammoth task of bringing decent and affordable public transport to residents living on the periphery of the City.

“The extension of the MyCiTi service to the Metro South-east, however, also brought new opportunities to the taxi associations in Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha who were affected by the MyCiTi route roll-out at the time,” says Herron.

One of the City’s core objectives is to build an inclusive city where the legacy of the past is undone by linking people with opportunities and by creating an environment conducive to job creation and economic growth, he says.

“Over the past three years the City has empowered the board members of the affected minibus taxi associations to set up and run their own vehicle operating company in a joint venture with Gabs. We have now reached the point where Route 6 and Codeta are eager and willing to take over the vehicle operations from Gabs. We have also assisted former minibus taxi drivers to receive training to operate and drive the buses that are currently servicing the N2 Express routes. The Gabs Learning and Assessment Centre in Montana facilitated the training of the minibus taxi drivers to upgrade their licences from Code 8 to Code 11.

“We have covered their training costs, as well as the costs of other personnel who did courses in administrative duties. I wish Codeta and Route 6 all of the best with the new challenge. I am eager to see how they perform,” says Herron.

“Our aim is to ensure that we bring taxi associations up to the same level as other major scheduled transport operators. I want to thank Gabs for their assistance, especially for facilitating the training. That is what partnership is all about.”

Mayor Patricia de Lille would, however, like to see the City beef up empowerment in the taxi industry­.

“From the City’s side, we are always willing to facilitate such programmes. Through this process of engagement we have learned that by working together and constantly communicating, we can solve any problem. I want to thank all those involved for working to ensure that we get to where we are today,” she says.

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