19 February 2022
Cape Town’s MyCiTi N2 Express restarted service on Saturday. It has been out of action for nearly three years, since 31 May 2019.
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said, on Twitter: “It was such a great joy to be on the first MyCiti N2 Express trip today to Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. The service is back up and running. Help us spread the word so more Capetonians know they can now make use of it.”
The service had been terminated after the City and the shareholders of the N2 Express Company — taxi associations CODETA and Route 6, and bus company Golden Arrow — failed to reach an agreement on the terms of the service.
Zurina Salie came to the MyCiTi station in Mitchells Plain to inquire about the fares. She said she preferred it because it is convenient and “always on time”. She liked that the buses are safe and clean and that it was easy to make connections to reach her destination.
Mitchells Plain resident Roegzhana January got on the bus to Cape Town. She said she and her husband relied on MyCiTi because they had both had strokes. She has recovered but her husband still uses a wheelchair. “With MyCiTi it is much easier to travel with him in a wheelchair,” she said. “Now we don’t have to hire expensive transport any more. The wheelchair couldn’t get on public taxis.”
Another man who uses a wheelchair said that MyCiTi is the only transport that disabled people can use since Dial-a-Ride service ended.
Without divulging the contents of the new agreement that allowed the service to resume, CODETA spokesperson Andile Kanyi assured commuters that there won’t be further problems. “We are very happy. The agreement will take us forward and if issues arise they will be resolved without affecting the restored service.”
On Friday councillor Rob Quintas, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility said “What matters is that the contract is now signed. All parties are in agreement [and the service] will benefit more than 6,000 commuters from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.”
The new contract, signed on 21 January, apparently provides a mechanism to resolve disputes.
About 20 member of the Cape Coloured Congress gathered at Mitchells Plain on Saturday to celebrate the reopening of the service. The party’s chairperson, Morris Simon, claimed his group’s pressure had resulted in this “victory”.