- The Golden Arrow bus company will from Monday increase its fares by 8%.
- The company advised commuters that further increases were possible.
- Commuters are outraged, saying they are still suffering the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cape Town bus commuters are fuming over Golden Arrow's decision to increase bus fares by 8% as of next week.
The Golden Arrow Bus Services said that, due to the current global unrest and the accompanying economic effects, it was clear that the South African economy would continue to find itself in a very difficult position.
"The diesel price has increased by 81% in the last 18 months, and current projections predict that fuel prices will continue to soar. This has knock-on effects across our supply chain," said Golden Arrow spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer.
Cape Town bus commuters were however not impressed with the price hikes, saying they were already struggling to cope.
Carmen Dogh from Bonteheuwel said she was upset with the bus company's decision because she would have to fork out more.
"We might as well quit our jobs at the rate things are going. All we're working for is money to get to work," she said.
Khayelitsha commuter Nasiphi Ntshintshi said the decision to increase fares again was "ridiculous."
Thandile Nkonzombi was of the view that the increase was not fair and would only have an impact on the poor.
"They then just increased their fares not too long ago, now another price hike. That does not sit well with me," she said,
"People are already suffering due to the pandemic; we really don't need this added stress," Ntshintshi added.
Maegan-Leigh Jacobs said the sudden increase was a shock for her.
Golden Arrow warns of further increases
"There are lots of unemployed people that rely on the bus to take them to job interviews or those that need to attend university, and an increase like this puts people like me in a difficult situation. Now I will pay more than R30 from Strandfontein to the CBD during peak time traffic. That's more than R60 for the day. It's crazy."
Mitchells Plain resident Mishka van Wyk said she'd been working from home for the past two years due to the pandemic and was dreading going back to the office soon due to the increased fares.
"I've been saving about R3 000 a month on travelling expenses. Now that I have to start working from the office soon, I'm probably going to be forking out so much more for my transport. This is not cool, Golden Arrow, times are already tough on us," said Van Wyk.
Stacey Jantjies said she used the bus because it was cheaper than other transport. She said:
The company said that while it usually implemented only one increase a year, they were now struggling to find a balance between what was affordable for passengers and what was needed to compensate for unrelenting cost increases across their operations.
The bus company also advised commuters that "further increases may become necessary as the year progresses".
Dyke-Beyer advised passengers to purchase a GABS Gold Card and load weekly or monthly products, instead of paying cash.
"Weekly and monthly products are sold at a discount of up to 45%. GABS Gold Cards, a once-off purchase, will remain at R35," she said.
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