MEC Robin Carlisle

Cobus Coetzee

TAXIS should not be forced to join Cape Town’s integrated public transport system, says Transport and Public Works MEC Robin Carlisle.

He believes the minibus taxi should be given the option to join or stay out of the new plans for a single intermodal transport system.

“They should be able to join and leave the new integrated system at any time they want to,” he said yesterday.

Carlisle’s statement about the taxis’ integration comes in the wake of taxi bosses’ unhappiness with the city council last month when it didn’t consult them over the rollout of MyCiti routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.

Member of the mayoral committee for transport, roads and stormwater Brett Herron later apologised for this.

Tomorrow he is due to meet more than 500 taxi operators at the Good Hope Centre to discuss how the industry can integrate with the city’s plans.

It wants to expand the MyCiti network but also wants all public transport modes to fall under one system. “I believe the city will have some sort of agreement between all the partners within the next few months,” Herron said.

He agrees that taxi bosses should not be forced to join the new integrated system.

The city hopes to have the N2 Express route for the MyCiti busses operational by December next year.

This will cost R338 million to implement.

SA National Taxi Council chairman Vernon Billet said yesterday the option to join or leave the new transport system sounded like a good plan.

“We are open to listen to the city as to what the system is about and how we and commuters can benefit from it,” he said.