LONG distance passengers will be spoilt for choice these Easter holidays as the Greyhound Coach Lines is returning to the road after a 14 months hiatus, in time for the busy travel season.
Greyhound yesterday announced its official resumption of operations after the company was purchased by an investment entity that is owned by a private trust.
Company spokesperson Leslie Matthews said Greyhound had partnered in this venture with SANI Car Rental, a Level 1 BEE Contributor.
Matthews said the bus company would start operating on Wednesday next week, more than a year after its closure.
Intercity luxury bus coaches Greyhound and Citiliner last year unexpectedly announced ceasing operations from February 14 due to challenging trading conditions.
“We are extremely happy to be back and fully operational, as this will allow passengers the opportunity to travel safely and in luxury again,” he said.
Not only is this great news for passengers, it comes with job creation at a time where unemployment is at an all-time low in South Africa.”
Around 800 people were left without jobs after Greyhound closed its doors last year.
Greyhound’s operating company, Unitrans Passenger, had been experiencing financial constraints over the past couple of years.
The situation was exacerbated by the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 which halted travel across the country.
Unitrans, a subsidiary of JSE-listed KAP Industrial Holdings, then applied for the facilitation of Section 189 at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
This was after workers’ union, the Democratised Transport Logistics and Allied Workers Union (Detawu), requested the company to halt plans to close its operations.
Detawu general-secretary Vusi Ntshangase, however, could not provide a comprehensive response to this new development as the union was locked in an all-day meeting yesterday.
Spokesperson for the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said they were also “not aware” of this development.
With lockdown restrictions eased, the travel and tourism sector has seen a massive improvement with more people travelling across provinces.
And with the Easter break approaching, there will certainly be a demand for a more safe, reliable and affordable mode of transport given that fuel prices have risen to record highs.
Deputy Minister of Transport Sindi Chikunga said Greyhound would add another option for long-haul road transportation for passengers.
“We are happy to welcome back Greyhound Coach Lines, one of the most well-known and trusted interprovincial bus services,” Chikunga said.
“The return of the luxury liner is well-aligned with the ministry’s vision to get all transport forms fully operational at the highest standard.”
Greyhound said it had identified key routes for the first phase with direct routes or along popular stops, but trips across South African borders were not available at the moment.