Bus, taxi, train transport impacted hard by Covid-19 pandemic
Pretoria - The impact of Covid-19 on public transport has left both passengers and drivers devastated, with fare increases and job losses.
The executive manager of the Southern African Bus Operators Association, Bazil Govender, said the industry could not cope with Covid-19 and its ability to survive was under threat.
He said they were anticipating a recovery early next March, but were operating in limbo at present.
The bus industry has taken a severe knock in terms of operations and loss of income with people having lost their jobs.
Paratransit sector specialist Nico McLachlan said they had spoken to taxi associations in the country. They had predicted a spike in demand during the festive season. He said they expected the recovery to be slow.
“Most of the taxi associations said the jobs that have been lost are not the type of jobs that will come back and they do not foresee that things will go back to the way they were, even after recovery.”
McLachlan said that, fortunately, the associations had said they did not lay off any drivers; those that had gone had left on their own. After problems with paying off their vehicles they had voluntarily left to look for a different source of income.
Gautrain chief executive William Dachs said it was losing market share to the private sector. The drop of passengers in Metrorail was also worrying, with a 25% drop.
“We have to ask where the people who were using metro trains are and what means of transport they are now using?” He added it might take 18 to 36 months to get Gautrain passenger numbers back to where they were.