CAPE TOWN - Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain MyCiTi bus commuters can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the City has signed a new operating contract with the N2 Company, paving the way for the return of the stalled N2 Express by February, if all goes as planned, according to the City.
The N2 Company is equally owned by Lisekhonikamva (Codeta) from Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain Rapid Transit (Route Six from Mitchells Plain), and Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs).
In a statement on Thursday, mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis described the signing of the contract as a critical milestone and the impact cannot be overstated.
The service had been halted for almost three years after the previous contract lapsed and the Dan Plato administration failed to successfully negotiate a new deal.
Now more than 6 000 commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha are expected to benefit from the N2 Express service once the buses are back on the road.
At the last meeting for the year on December 15, the City’s Council unanimously approved the Transport Directorate’s request to grant the N2 Company the right to use and manage the 34 City-owned buses to provide the N2 Express service.
This includes a combination of 12-metre low-floor buses and 18-metre low-floor buses that will be serviced and prepared for operations, and bus drivers recruited and trained. Once operational, the N2 Express service will again operate along four MyCiTi routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha:
D01 between Khayelitsha East and the Civic Centre
D02 between Khayelitsha West and the Civic Centre
D03 between Mitchells Plain East and the Civic Centre; and
D04 between Kapteinsklip, the Mitchells Plain Town Centre and the Civic Centre
“This is very important progress, and great for the city. We look forward to seeing the N2 Express service up and running as soon as possible. Capetonians urgently need safe, affordable and reliable public transport. With the return of the N2 Express service thousands of commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha will be able to board the blue MyCiTi buses to the Cape Town CBD,” said Hill-Lewis.
Transport mayco member Rob Quintas said: “My vision for urban mobility is that commuters in Cape Town should have a wide range of choices in how they access opportunities. The imminent return of the N2 Express service is a vital addition to our public transport offering.
“Given the implosion of passenger rail commuters from the metro-south east need reliable public transport services now more than ever. The N2 Express service will provide commuters with an alternative. Before the service was suspended in May 2019 up to 6 000 passengers used it on a daily basis which underscores the demand and popularity of the service.”
He said commuters would be informed of progress including the exact date on which the N2 Express service would start operating.