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The National Minister of Transport has issued new directives to extend the operating times of public transport services that are transporting essential workers, and to increase the loading capacity of minibus-taxi vehicles during the lockdown period. These directives were published in the Government Gazette yesterday, 31 March 2020, and are applicable with immediate effect.

Commuters should please take note of the following:

Minibus-taxis:

  • Minibus-taxis are now permitted to transport 70% of their passenger capacity: those licensed to transport 10 are now limited to 7 passengers; those licensed to transport 15 are now limited to 10 passengers; a midi-bus licensed to transport 22 passengers is limited to 15 passengers
  • The vehicle capacity can be increased to 100% if all passengers, inclusive of the driver, are wearing surgical masks or N95 respiratory masks as per the directives gazetted
  • As from Saturday, 4 April 2020, during the morning peak-hour period, minibus-taxi drivers will be allowed to travel to the pick-up points as from 04:00, but may only start loading passengers at 05:00. All passengers must be offloaded by 11:00, and no passengers may board the taxi after 10:00
  • Also, as from Saturday, 4 April 2020, during the afternoon peak-hour period, drivers will be allowed to travel to the pick-up points as from 15:00, but may only start loading passengers at 16:00. All passengers must be offloaded by 21:00, and no passengers may board the taxi after 20:00

MyCiTi bus service:

  • No standing is allowed on buses
  • Buses are allowed to transport half (50%) of its passenger capacity: 18m buses can transport 59 people, inclusive of the driver; the 12m Volvo buses 43, inclusive of the driver; the 12m Scania buses 48, inclusive of the driver; and the 9m buses are allowed to transport 25 people, inclusive of the driver
  • The service is currently operating according to the Sunday service schedule to transport residents who need to collect their social grants
  • As from Saturday, 4 April 2020, the service will operate from 05:00 to 10:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00 daily, in line with the regulations relating to the national state of disaster
  • All bus drivers have been issued with masks and gloves
  • Passengers who board at a bus stop can use the hand sanitiser that is placed next to the validators at the left hand door
  • Passengers boarding at stations should use the sanitiser that is available at these facilities
  • We also request passengers to please travel with their own hand sanitiser as well, and to wash their hands as often as possible with soap and water for 20 seconds

Buses and stations are cleaned regularly in line with COVID-19 requirements.

‘Commuters should please avoid trips that are unnecessary. This is critical to fighting the spread of COVID-19. Only use the bus if you absolutely have to. This includes shopping for food and accessing healthcare, or social grants. If you do travel, wash your hands often, practise social distancing, avoid touching common surfaces and don’t touch your face. Wash your hands again after getting off the bus. Don’t travel if you are sick, and avoid contact with fellow passengers,’ said Alderman Felicity Purchase, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport.

Normal rules apply for Peak and Saver (off-peak) travel and passengers must continue to tap in at the start of their journey and tap out at the end.

Commuters can visit the MyCiTi website on www.myciti.org.za for regular updates; use the MyCiTi app, or follow us on Twitter @MyCiTiBus; or phone the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63 – the TIC is available 24/7.

Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS):

GABS is providing transport services during the lockdown in line with the times that have been gazetted.

  • Drivers have all been issued with gloves, masks and hand sanitiser
  • All buses are regularly sanitised with specialised surface cleaner
  • Passengers are requested to please adhere to carrying capacity and personal hygiene protocols
  • Please phone the TIC on 0800 65 64 63 for more information about the schedules, or go to www.gabs.co.za, where you can search for a specific route, or see all of the routes by selecting ‘Filter PDFs’ and then choose a timetable and route by selecting the letter of the alphabet

E-hailing and metred-taxis:

  • As from Saturday, 4 April 2020, operators may only transport passengers from 05:00 to 10:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00 daily, in line with the regulations relating to the national state of disaster
  • A vehicle licensed to transport four passengers is limited to carrying 50% of their permissible passenger carrying capacity – thus, only two passengers are allowed in the vehicle

Transport services for essential workers:

  • Private institutions or companies may make arrangements for the transportation of their workers who are rendering essential services in line with their operating shifts and work time schedules
  • The operating shifts or work schedules or time table should be stamped and signed by the relevant manager.

‘We have established a Provincial Transport Coordinating Committee and we are meeting daily to address issues with our partners in the public transport sector. I’m urging public transport operators to please adhere to the strict health and safety measures as issued by the National Government. These measures oblige all operators to ensure that public transport vehicles are sanitised before picking up and after dropping off passengers; to sanitise all door and window handles, armrests and handrails before picking up and dropping off passengers; and to ensure that all public transport vehicles are clean and tidy,’ said the Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela.