MyCiTi commuters in Hangberg say the City is ignoring their calls for more buses on the busy route from Hout Bay to the Cape Town CBD.
Felicity Africa travels to the CBD daily using the 108 route but says the buses are already full every morning when they reach the Hangberg stop.
“We are supposed to be the first stop with the bus that travels from Hout Bay straight to Adderley Street, but when it arrives, it’s already full, and we have to stand all the way through.”
Drivers ignored commuters’ pleas to not pick up more passengers when the bus was already full, she said.
“The drivers were very rude to us passengers when we complain to them,” she said. “IY has more buses operating than us, and it’s not fair that we have to stand all the way to our destination. Why not put on more buses?”
She said the buses were overloaded and could act as Covid super spreaders.
“There was a guy who travelled with us one morning, visibly sick and coughing. The bus was so full and those germs could have easily spread through that bus. A whole bus filled people ready to infect others.”
David Collins, who also travels to the city centre, said buses should not be filled to capacity while Covid cases were on the rise.
“The buses are full, period. When it arrives, the Hangberg MyCiTi stop is already full, and people have to stand around the bus, and we do not know who has what.”
The City should consider adding more buses to the route and having inspectors check occupancy and compliance with Covid regulations, he said.
“There can be random people on the bus stops jumping on and off, inspecting the bus, and they will be able to say if the bus is full or whether there is a sick person.”
The City said 20 buses were already assigned to the Hout Bay route.
“We are busy investigating the requests, but it is important to note that the service is designed to operate with some passengers standing in the bus. As such, when passengers need to stand because there are no seats available, it does not mean the bus is overloaded,” said mayoral committee member for urban mobility Roberto Quintas.
All MyCiTi buses on the Hout Bay route were licensed to carry 25 seated and up to 25 standing passengers.
According to the City, drivers are not allowed to exceed the buses’ carrying capacity and they must report any full bus trips to the control centre.
“In many cases, the City adds bus trips to address the extra passenger demand. The City monitors passenger demand on a daily basis, and we add additional bus trips when needed,” Mr Quintas said.
The vehicle operating companies had to sanitise and clean all of the buses every day, and the City monitored that to ensure compliance, Mr Quintas said.
“Passengers are encouraged to report any problems they may experience on board the bus to the driver and/or to station staff on arrival at the station so that these can be adequately addressed by supervisory staff on duty. If necessary, law enforcement officials may also be requested to assist.”