Golden Arrow will be increasing its fares by an average of 4.9% on 28 December 2015. This is in line with the special conditions of the Interim Contract, which make provision for an annual increase in passenger fares. The previous adjustment was on 29 December 2014.
The special conditions of the interim operating contract make allowance for an adjustment to bus fares in order to cushion the effect of increases in operational expenses since the previous adjustment. Golden Arrow has therefore given notice that it intends to increase fares by an average of 4.9% on 28 December 2015. This adjustment has only been considered after all other cost absorption measures have been explored and exhausted.
There were a number of factors which made an increase unavoidable. Nationally determined wages escalated by 9%, the weakened exchange rate substantially increased costs for spares and other internationally sourced parts and vandalism cost the company millions. This has been compounded by the nominal escalation in the Division of Revenue Act (DORA) subsidy allocation.
Despite this Golden Arrow’s commitment to quality has been borne out by the awarding of Road Transport Management System (RTMS) accreditation earlier this year. It is the single biggest bus fleet to have achieved accreditation to date. Golden Arrow’s extensive fleet recapitalisation project is ongoing and 92 new buses have been purchased for delivery on a monthly basis throughout the 2015 calendar year at an approximate cost of R 165 million.
The impending fare increase was also discussed with all our passenger forums. The forums indicated that they understood the necessity for such an increase. Golden Arrow would therefore like to reiterate that the decision to increase fares is not one which is taken lightly and the Company has taken all factors into account to cushion its passengers from the effects as far as is reasonably possible. The adjustment in fares is therefore effectively lower than what would be required to offset actual operational costs.
During the current volatile economic cycle, Golden Arrow remains ever conscious of the effect that increased fares has on its 230 000 daily passengers. For this reason off-peak cash fares will not be adjusted at this time. Passengers can postpone paying the increased fares until 11 January 2016 in the case of 10-ride clipcards (which are valid for 14 days) bought on 27 December 2015 and until 03 February 2016 in the case of monthly clipcards (valid for 37 days) bought on the same date. Golden Arrow continues to strive to provide the highest quality service possible to its passengers, and despite the increase, bus travel remains a viable public transport alternative to travelling by private vehicle.A schedule with selected fares is available below.