Mamelodi commuters will be transported by the city’s A Re Yeng bus service from today after Autopax dumped the nonprofitable route.
Autopax, which took over operations in Mamelodi in 2015 after Putco withdrew, announced two months ago it would not renew the contract with the city, which ended on Saturday.
But 30 buses from the A Re Yeng fleet will be deployed to all routes that were operated by Autopax, MMC for roads and transport Sheila Lynn Senkubuge said yesterday.
“When the Gauteng department of roads and transport told us to take over the bus routes and operations from Autopax in Mamelodi, we immediately mobilised the city’s resources and made the necessary logistical arrangements,” she said.
The routes, times and fares will remain the same, with a flat rate of R8 for short-distance commuting and R14 for long distance. Ticketing will start off on a cash payment system from mobile booths in Denneboom, until the end of the month.
“From November, we will use the connector card that is already used around the city and can be used on Rea Vaya buses in Johannesburg and MyCiti buses in Cape Town. This is a long-term intention to ensure an integrated transport system.”
Gauteng MEC for roads and transport Ismail Vadi welcomed the city’s decision to provide public transport, saying the new agreement opened up the way for it to fully take over public transport responsibilities, as contemplated in the National Land Transport Act.
“Ideally, public transport services, including bus operations, should be managed at a local level and the agreement paves the way for Tshwane to take over the function.”
But the new arrangement will not have any effect on the current A Re Yeng bus services, as the 30 buses would be from a standing fleet, Senkubuge said.
When the Tshwane Rapid Transit (TRT) started, a large number of A Re Yeng buses were purchased to run on various routes, but many were not being used.
“They haven’t been used on any route as we are completing infrastructure. Instead of standing and not generating revenue, these particular buses are not going to affect the current TRT operations in the city, but will be enhancing what TRT has been called to do.”