City will fix buses and revamp suspended stations to alleviate transport woes

The aftermath of an attack on a bus during violent protests last year. l AYANDA NDAMANE/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

The aftermath of an attack on a bus during violent protests last year. l AYANDA NDAMANE/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Published Jan 28, 2023

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Cape Town – As several MyCiti stations stand barren after being destroyed in protests, the City said it needed another year before it could commence with repairs.

The City said the three non-functional stations; Dunoon, Phoenix, and Usazaza, are expected to be repaired by 2024, while the fourth one in Woodstock will be fixed early this year.

While the three stations in Milnerton were badly damaged by the angry protesters, the Woodstock station was damaged after a bus caught fire outside the station. Services at these stations have since been suspended.

"The City is committed to providing a reliable, safe, and affordable MyCiTi service to Capetonians. We will not be deterred by incidents of sabotage, public violence, or any other action aimed at undermining our efforts.

“Thousands of commuters rely on the MyCiTi service and I want to thank them for their support and loyalty," said Rob Quintas, the City’s Mayco Member for Urban Mobility.

The anticipated repairs of four severely damaged buses, as well as a station destroyed by angry mobs in 2022, would cost around R11 million.

"Damage to buses for the period January 1, 2022 to date, amounts to approximately R7.5 million; and the damage to the Woodstock station approximately R3.5 million," he explained.

He added that while the MyCiTi service was one of the key public transport modes, the City remained committed to restoring passenger rail to its former glory.

He also said passenger rail remained the most efficient and cost-effective mode of public transport and should be the backbone of transport in Cape Town. Other transport services, such as the MyCiTi service, minibus taxis, the Golden Arrow Bus Service and metered-taxis, were seen as supporting modes.

"We have completed the inception report of our Rail Feasibility Study and is now busy with the status quo report on Prasa’s assets and services in the Cape Town metro. The study will inform the City’s plan of action in restoring passenger rail in the interest of our commuters, residents, and the local economy," Quintas added.

Commuter Sipho Tala relies on public transport to get to work in Table View and said the damage to both stations in Dunoon was causing inconvenience and the action was uncalled for.

"The bus was more convenient and affordable for me while Usasaza station was operational. I didn't have to walk far to catch my ride or to load the token. But now I can barely use it, because I have to walk to the depot, far from my place. It's sometimes busy as everyone now has to catch the bus at the same spot.

“I hope authorities could put things behind and fix it before the winter comes. However, it is important that I ask my that people refrain from destroying infrastructure when raising their concerns.

“It is us, the community, who suffer at the end of the day. I think the authorities are dragging their feet to repair these to teach us a lesson… let's learn," he said.

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