Fingers are crossed that a meeting between Transport Minister Fikile “Mr Fixit” Mbalula and high-ranking Western Cape government officials will get Cape Town’s MyCiTi N2 Express back on the road again.
This follows a meeting on Tuesday afternoon between alderman Felicity Purchase, the City’s mayoral committee member for transport, Mayor Dan Plato, Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, and officials from the City and province.
One of the issues raised at the meeting with Mbalula was the abrupt suspension of the N2 Express service at the end of May 2019.
The service provides transport for mainly Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain residents into the city and back.
The contract with the partners who run the service had lapsed and, instead of a renewal going smoothly, the service has been at a standstill, leaving commuters stranded along a route that is already suffering due to problems with Metrorail.
“The political leaders have agreed on possible solutions, and officials were instructed to investigate these and to report back to the political leaders,” said Purchase.
“We will shortly have a follow up meeting with the minister with the view of finalising the way forward and will make a public announcement once we are ready to do so.”
Hi Sarka, the tender process for a new service provider has started regarding the N2 Express service. The public will be informed of the new starting date in due course.
— MYCITI Bus (@MyCiTiBus) February 5, 2020
The N2 Express Joint Venture (JV) Vehicle Operating Company is responsible for operating the MyCiTi buses between Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha and the Civic Centre bus station, as part of the City’s Integrated Rapid Transit system.
The JV shareholders for the affected routes are the Golden Arrow Bus Service, the Congress Organisation of Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta) and the Route 6 Taxi Association in Mitchells Plain.
It was started in 2014 after the City compensated taxi companies for routes they had cut, and at the same time trained taxi drivers to be bus drivers and administrators, in an effort to reduce congestion and empower transport operators.