THE MyCiTi roll-out to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha has been set back by more than six months due to several snags says mayor Patricia de Lille.
The service to the two poor areas should have been launched in December after De Lille warned “heads will roll” if it did not. But none will, as she says the reasons for the delay were justifiable.
A week after the Cape Times reported on the list of obstacles threatening the December deadline, the city announced yesterday that it would only be able to launch the N2 Express MyCiTi service by July.
De Lille listed the obstacles as the impact of a strike in the automobile industry, which means the buses will not be ready by December and the lengthy negotiations to reach an agreement with the public transport industry.
The city also need a certain amount of time to train taxi drivers who would operate the MyCiTi service once the N2 Express is implemented.
Bus stops also still have to be constructed.
Asked whether the city was disappointed that it was no longer able to meet the original deadline, De Lille told the Cape Times: “Yes and no because the construction of the stations will be continuing. And secondly we will try and have an interim service running as and when the buses become available. But we agree with our partners that we want an inclusive process. It is disappointing
that we won’t be able to roll out by December but the reasons are all justifiable and acceptable.”
The city has signed the heads of agreement with public transport providers on the N2 Express route, Golden Arrow Bus Services, Route Six Taxi Association in Mitchells Plain and the Cata/Codeta taxi association in Khayelitsha. The city is negotiating with them to reach an agreement on how they would operate the service.
Key to the negotiations for the taxi operators is that they maintain their ownership status and that the MyCiTi operation ensures a sustainable income. Taxi bosses also want to ensure that as many taxi guards and drivers as possible are absorbed by the MyCiTi system and that they keep job losses to a minimum.
“The signing of the head of agreement is part of an extensive consultation process between the city and its partners,” De Lille said.