Cape Town -
Cape Town Law Enforcement officers will this week escort MyCiti buses on the N2 Express service from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha to the CBD following its launch at the weekend.
“Whenever we roll out the service we have law enforcement officers with us in the first week or two in the area of the launch. The officers will be here for about a week,” Mayco member for Transport for Cape Town Brett Herron said on Sunday when he took the media on a bus ride from Cape Town to Mitchells Plain and back.
The MyCiTi bus service started operating from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and the Civic Centre station on the N2 BMT lane following a six-month delay caused by negotiations with taxi associations.
The service is set to transport more than 3 000 passengers daily.
On Sunday, Herron, a handful of city officials and a two journalists were the only passengers on the bus. There were no commuters at the bus stops.
The journey was plain-sailing from the Civic Centre to Mitchells Plain. The 10.35am bus arrived five minutes late, but was 15 minutes ahead of its 12.30pm scheduled arrival back at the Civic Centre
“Its raining and its wet, but so far about 600 people registered for the service in Mitchells Plain so it (passenger numbers) will increase later this week,” Herron said.
He did not have the figure for passenger numbers for the weekend.
The construction of a MyCiti station in the Mitchells Plain town centre is expected to be complete by the end of the year while four bus stops along AZ Berman Road have been completed.
Herron said the city would roll out the MyCiTi services across the city while infrastructure projects for the service continued.
In Khayelitsha four sets of the MyCiTi stops were still under construction while there were temporary set ups with the timetables and fare information used at seven stops, Herron said.
In Khayelitsha the city has already started with the design of a new MyCiTi station in Nolungile. It would be located in Site C, Herron said.
“It will be an integrated public transport hub, enabling passengers in Khayelitsha to transfer with ease between the different modes of public transport ranging from the scheduled MyCiTi bus service to rail, minibus-taxis and long-distance bus services,” he said.
Bus driver Shamiel Brown from Rocklands in Mitchells Plain was the first to drive a MyCiti bus into the area.
“I feel excited. This is a great feeling I am very glad that I agreed to it,” he told the Cape Times on Sunday.
“The MyCiti buses are luxury. They drive softer and it much more nicer. There are also cameras in the bus and it is being followed wherever I go which gives me a sense of safety.
“The people of Mitchells Plain don't know about the service yet, but for the few that boarded the bus already it was a great feeling,” Brown said.