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City-to-City buses leave passengers frustrated

City-to-City passengers are complaining about what they call unfair treatment by the bus company. 

They say buses are not coming to pick them up when they need to get home from work. They said they have complained to the company but that the company is doing nothing to rectify the situation.

Speaking to Kathorus MAIL on Thursday, March 23, one of the passengers, Louisa Moerane, who takes City-to-City buses from Vosloorus to work in Johannesburg, said they are still using their money to pay taxi fare even though they have purchased monthly bus tickets.

“We have a big problem with City-to-City buses. They are always not available in the afternoon when they are supposed to take us back home. If they happen to be available, they are very late. We arrived at the bus stop before 4.30pm for a bus that leaves Joburg at 4.30pm. But the bus will arrive late after 7pm to fetch us. As a result when we arrive home it is already late, normally after 8.30pm.

“When I asked the bus company about this problem at their office in Vosloorus, a woman by the name of Sibongile Mnanzana told me to go and complain to the ANC,” laments Moerane.

Speaking to Kathorus MAIL, Mnanzana said the problem is beyond their control.

“As the staff we don’t know what happened with the buses. The management didn’t tell us anything. We were only told that the contract of City-to-City operation has been terminated as from March 31,” said Mnanzana.

Moerane also said she went on to complain to the bus company’s head office in Brixton, Johannesburg, where a woman by the name of Kensani answered the call. She said there is nothing they can do because there are no buses.

“What worries me the most is that they know that they have bus problems yet they keep on taking our money. They are not even willing to compensate us for the losses we have suffered since the buses started to have problems,” explained Moerane.

Passengers from Natalspruit and Thokoza are also affected by this problem.

Kabelo Matlou, a fleet manager at City-to-City, said they started to experience the problems of a shortage of buses at the beginning of March.

“We have a problem, there are not enough buses. But those who are affected are going to be compensated. The number of days they did not use the coupons will paid back to them,” said Matlou.

The Kathorus MAIL contacted Kensani from the head office, but he said he is not the media liaison.

“Unfortunately I have nothing to say to you. There are people who are employed to talk to the media. But call me after five minutes. By then I will have the number of a relevant person to talk to,” said Kensani.

Five minutes later, the Kathorus MAIL tried to contact Kensani but no one picked up the phone.

Moerane said she has constant fights with her husband because of the transport problems.

“My husband complains because I wake up very early every morning to get ready for the bus at 6.30am, even though it sometimes comes very late. In the afternoon, I have to call him and tell him to wait for me. That does not sit well with him.

“Secondly, when I arrive home, I find my daughter (3) asleep. I don’t have time to play and bond with her,” she said.

Nozipho Jafta, the sales and marketing executive at Autopax, the company that manages Translux and City-to-City buses, told Kathorus MAIL the reason behind the shortage of buses.

“I would like to confirm that in the past six to eight weeks, we have been experiencing a number of challenges in relation to the availability of buses to operate our commuter services. This impacts all contracts with the Department of Roads and Transport. These are in Mamelodi, Vosloorus and Everton. We are currently utilising our luxury buses, which are not designed for the commuter environment, and this has resulted in a number of buses being off the road with minor and major defects. The matter has been raised with the Kathorus Commuter Forum and is receiving urgent attention,” said Jafta.

Jafta tried to give some comfort to commuters who bought multi-journey tickets (weekly and monthly) but were not able to use them due to the buses not operating.

“The team is currently identifying shifts and passengers who have been affected and a solution will be shared in due course. We will ensure that all affected passengers are not negatively impacted. This matter has also been raised with the Kathorus Commuter Forum and is receiving urgent attention. We would like to apologise to all the affected passengers and I would like to promise them that the problem is being dealt with and those affected will not be affected negatively,” explained Jafta.

She said the current Autopax contract with the department expires on March 31.

“We are currently in discussions with the department to find solutions for beyond March 31. The department is reviewing a number of proposals and we will make an announcement in due course. I am confident that they will do everything in their power to ensure that passengers are not affected,” said Jafta.

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