Minibus taxis serving local destinations will be operating from the Grand Parade opposite the Cape Town City Hall in Darling Street as of tomorrow (Wednesday 16 January), until further notice.“The Station Deck taxi rank dates back to 1996 when the roofscape of the Cape Town station was used as a minibus taxi rank for the first time. It’s one of the city’s busiest transport facilities and thousands of commuters from suburbs all over Cape Town disembark or fetch minibus taxis from this rank.“Given the traffic and the number of commuters this rank accommodates every day, it has reached a point where we must undertake urgent repair and refurbishment work. The City’s Transport Directorate will now invest about R2m to improve the facilities at the Station Deck,” says Mayco member for transport, Felicity Purchase.Maintenance teams will paint the buildings and road markings, repair the lighting, repair potholes and cracks in the road surface and sidewalks, and restore the destination boards to assist commuters in finding the correct departure lanes to their destinations.“Long-distance taxi services won’t be affected and will continue to operate from the Station Deck while the maintenance is ongoing. The public will still be able to access the Station Deck, but access will be limited in the areas where the work is happening. Some traders and retail outlets may be affected, but this is for a limited period only. In the end, all of the Station Deck users will benefit from the upgrade, and we appeal to commuters to be patient while we’re busy doing repairs,” says Purchase.Minibus taxis serving local destinations will not be allowed onto the Station Deck for as long as the maintenance work is ongoing. The operators and commuters will be informed once the refurbishment has been completed – safe to say that it will take at least four to five weeks, pending any unforeseen delays.The minibus taxi associations were informed of the temporary arrangement in December 2018, and leaflets were distributed to commuters and other users at the Station Deck as from yesterday (Monday 14 January).Temporary lanes for the various routes will be demarcated at the Grand Parade to indicate where commuters must embark and disembark. These include lanes for routes to Nyanga, Lower Philippi, Hanover Park, Kensington, Mitchell’s Plain, Delft, Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Milnerton, Dunoon, Manenberg, Bonteheuwel, Heideveld, Bridgetown, Mowbray and Wynberg; as well as bays for those taxis serving Atlantis, Silversands, Sea Point, Hout Bay and Bellville among others.“The minibus taxis will enter the Grand Parade in Castle Street and there are two exits – one in Castle Street and the other in Darling Street. Other road users must therefore anticipate an increase in the number of minibus taxis on the roads in this area over the next few weeks,” says Purchase. V Call the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63 for more information during the maintenance period.