File Image: IOL
Cape Town - Commuters will have to dig deeper into their pockets from Monday, as Golden Arrow is increasing its fares by 5%, while motorists are in for more despair as another petrol price hike looms.

Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs) general manager Derick Meyer said it was important to recognise that the price of fuel has increased by more than 30% over the past year.

“The 3.7% increase in the operational subsidies for public transport also failed to keep abreast of cost escalations.

“Despite these challenges, we have limited the fares increase to an average of 5% across the board,” he said.

Meyer said passengers could postpone paying the increased fares until July 15, in the case of 10-ride clipcards valid for 14 days.

Those with monthly clipcards which are valid for 37 days, can postpone paying the increases fares until August 7, if the ticket was purchased before the effective date.

“And despite the increase, bus travel remains a viable public transport alternative to travelling by private vehicle,” he said.

Gabs commuters will pay on average between R1.50 and R2 per trip for all types of trips.

Cosatu provincial secretary Malvern de Bruyn said on top of fuel and all other increases, it has become impossible for workers to survive.

“Cosatu calls on the government to urgently intervene and see if on the basis of the profitability of these bus companies it is necessary to increase fees at this time.

“Cosatu also calls on the government to increase the subsidies to these bus companies to avoid the increases at this time,” de Bruyn said.

Meanwhile, the Automobile Association (AA) said consumers have been thrown a lifeline by declining oil prices in June.

Petrol is set to rise by around 26 cents/litre, diesel by 24 cents and illuminating paraffin by 20 cents.

Cape Argus