Cape Town-140204-The City of Cape Town is preparing to roll out the bus service to Hout Bay. Pic taken at My City bus shelters on Victoria Road Hout Bay-Photographer-Tracey Adams

Cape Town - Overcrowding, long queues and services that don’t run to schedule are some of the complaints about the City of Cape Town’s MyCiTi bus service which has, to date, cost R4.6 billion to roll out.

But passenger numbers have soared by nearly 90 percent in the past four months, with 761 000 commuters riding on a MyCiTi route in February.

The sale of myconnect cards had “exceeded expectations”, Brett Herron,mayoral committee member for transport. This showed a “massive and encouraging appetite” for public transport.

“The uptake on the routes has been phenomenal and with the growing passenger numbers we have seen a number of complaints being posted on social media platforms and in the mainstream media, and being logged with the Transport Information Centre,” Herron said.

Teething problems were to be expected for a new service but the complaints logged represented less than half a percent of total passenger journeys. Seven new routes had been introduced since last November.

“The MyCiTi service is not running at full capacity. There is standing room but people don’t want to stand.”

Speaking at a media briefing about passenger complaints, Herron admitted that the now-cancelled contract with Lumen Technologies for IT services had an impact on the city’s performance management.

“We have not been able to get reliable data about the time that each bus arrives at the bus stop.”

He said that until a new company had been appointed, the city would still be unable to monitor the buses punctuality.

The city recently announced its termination of its R234 million, seven-year contract with Lumen because of non-performance.

It also said the city manager would investigate claims of fraudulent invoicing by one of Lumen’s contractors.

Lumen’s Sedicka Chilwan disputed the city’s allegations about its performance and alleged that the con-tract was being terminated because it blew the whistle on fraudulent activities.

Cape Argus