Council’s MyCiTi ‘joke’ backfires
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Cape Town - It was supposed to be a helpful “tip” but the City of Cape Town’s suggestion that frustrated commuters should “change their routines and gym earlier” has been slated on social media.
The tip, posted on the MyCiTi Facebook page, said: “Peak time travelling is frustrating. More so when the MyCiTi bus is filled by the time it arrives at your stop. Plan your travelling time, change your routine by going to the gym earlier and avoid peak time travelling.”
It went on to say that some buses operated from as early as 4.15am from the Civic Centre to the airport and ended just before midnight.
But the recommendation sparked an outcry from social media users, who said the suggestion that passengers needed to change their routines because of poor scheduling was “a joke”.
One passenger said: “The audacity of posting something like this is beyond any reasonable comprehension.”
Another wrote: “Yes, because it is that easy just to change your routine. This is such a joke. We can’t add more buses (although I see so many of them driving around empty, or parked at the depot), so change your schedule. Peak time is called peak time for a reason, because that’s when most of the businesses open and close, and that is when your actual target market, daily worker commuters, are frustrated. Waiting at a dark bus stop at 5am, or taking an almost two-hour commute – because even at 8pm, we had to wait at the Civic Centre – isn’t exactly safe nor feasible. Bad form to make it the customer’s problem.”
And another said: “Are you guys trolling us? Have I been in a coma and woken up on April 1? You’re now making this our problem? What makes you think everyone even has time for gym? And leaving later for work is not an option when you work in a dangerous area such as Woodstock. Clearly our time is not important.”
The city later posted the following apology: “No offence was intended with this post. The intention was to offer practical advice and a solution to customers who are able to travel at different times. We apologise if the message was not clear. MyCiTi will post tips on travelling patterns and information regarding the service on a regular basis. You, as our valued customer, have the option to take advantage of it.”
The MyCiTi service also received many reports of buses being overcrowded, especially on the T01 Tableview Route.
Commuters also used the social media platform to offer their advice. One said the city needed to perfect the service before it went ahead with any expansion plans.
“Get express buses that will only stop in Tableview. Think different solutions instead of telling us to change our routine.”
Another said the city’s tip was in line with international standard operating procedures when dealing with massive demands.
With reference to the objections raised on Facebook, the commentator said: “…acting with zero tolerance and loosely tossing around insults are of little use. I would rather have a MiCiTi constantly working towards improving service than no service at all.
“Let’s rather adopt the approach of helping them to help us folks.”
Meanwhile, the MyCiTi infrastructure along Blaauwberg and Potsdam roads has won the 2014 SAICE Regional Award for Technical Excellence in Civil Engineering.
Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport, said this section linked Dunoon, Killarney and Table View with the City Bowl.