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MyCiTi N2 Express bus service to resume on Saturday

The MyCiTi N2 Express from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha has come to a grinding halt after a dispute between the City and the N2 Express joint venture. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

The MyCiTi N2 Express from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha has come to a grinding halt after a dispute between the City and the N2 Express joint venture. Photographer: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Feb 14, 2022

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has been called on to clarify the capacity plan for the MyCiTi N2 Express bus service, and whether it intended to expand the service.

This after the City announced that it intended to resume the service on Saturday, with the first buses to depart from Kapteinsklip in Mitchells Plain and Kuyasa in Khayelitsha shortly after 5am travelling along the N2 freeway to the Civic Centre station in the Cape Town CBD.

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The service, which includes Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, has been out of operation since a dispute arose among the route’s taxi industry shareholders when their contracts ended in the first half of 2019.

Negotiations between the City and members of the N2 Express joint venture operating company collapsed. The company comprises the Route 6 Taxi Association, Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs), and the Congress of Democratic Taxi Associations.

GOOD Party secretary-general Brett Herron said despite being thrilled that the service was being reintroduced, the greatest disappointment, and perhaps a sign that it was a token gesture rather than a whole-hearted public transport solution, was that the service was being launched with only 34 buses.

“We launched with 40 buses eight years ago at a time when Metrorail was fully operational,” Herron said.

He said now there’s no Metrorail service and they’re relaunching with only 34 buses. “I fear the capacity is going to be inadequate and the reintroduction will not be a meaningful solution to the need.”

ANC provincial spokesperson on transport Lulama Mvimbi welcomed the development, saying it was long overdue.

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“We hope all stumbling blocks have been cleared and that no further delays or similar challenges will be encountered in future,” said Mvimbi.

He said the City must respect all stakeholders and treat them as equal partners. “We want to see a smooth operation across all routes.”

Urban mobility Mayco member Rob Quintas said he made a commitment to Capetonians last year that the City would do all it could to get the N2 Express service back on the road in the first quarter of the new year.

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“We are now ready to deliver on this promise,” Quintas said.

“We have been working non-stop over the past few weeks and I am pleased to say that all is on course for the service to resume. The bus fleet is being serviced, bus drivers are being trained and familiarised with the routes, and the vandalised bus shelters will be repaired or replaced in coming weeks,” he said.

“The service will resume in three phases, starting off with three of the four routes.”

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Phase one: February 19 to March 4 (D01, D02, D04), which will be a limited start-up service. Phase two: March 5 to March 18 (D01, D02, D04), additional buses will be added to match passenger demand, and phase three: March 19 onwards (D01, D02, D03, D04), the D03 route is introduced as the service becomes fully operational.

Mitchell's Plain Integrated Development Forum secretary Duwayne Jacobs welcomed the service. However, he said residents were hoping for proper and dignified bus stops.

"We don't want our people to have small bus stops, whereas in the affluent areas there are big terminuses in every bus stop where people can sit, have a coffee, and use the internet. That's what we want also in our areas,“ Jacobs said.

Mitchells Plain United Residents’ Association chairperson Norman Jantjies said: “We trust that this service will be reliable and affordable.”

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Cape Argus

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