Some loyal minibus taxi users unpersuaded by MyCiti buses

| Bernard Chiguvare
Commuters queue for a minibus to Green Point. Picure by Bernard Chiiguvare.

Despite the long, snaking queues that form every working day, many commuters remain steadfast in using taxis as their means of transport and not the MyCiti bus.

On a Monday morning, one sees the winding queues at the taxi pick-up point for Green Point outside the Woolworths on Adderley Street in the Cape Town CBD. Commuters could take the MyCiTi bus route 114 from the Civic Centre Station or the Adderley Street stop. According to Councilor Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport for Cape Town, the Civic Centre route is faster than any other, because the buses use a dedicated red lane to Green Point, taking about 10 minutes.

GroundUp spoke to some commuters waiting in line.

“I would not change to using MyCiTi,” said Shirley Dewee, who has used taxis for the past 15 years. “I feel comfortable using the minibus taxis since I have never one day reported late for work. If by any chance some taxis are withdrawn from this route, I [will] prefer to use private transport.”

Another commuter, who identified himself as Rodney, said as he was about to board a minibus taxi, “I would not go for MyCiTi because they operate according to timetables unlike taxis that go anytime; once full they leave for Green Point.” Rodney said minibus taxis stop anywhere to pick up commuters. For him, this is their great advantage. “With MyCiti you cannot waive your hand for it to to stop,” he said.

Elson Khatshwa, 37, a taxi tout, said taxis offer a better service than MyCiTi. “We are actually proud of our services. It does not matter how long the queues are. Everyone will get to work in time. We do not work on strict timetables as MyCiTi buses do,” he said, pointing to the queues, one curving into St George’s Mall, another stretching as far back as Finbond Mutual Bank on Adderley Street.

Commuters using taxis pay R7 for a single trip to Green Point throughout the day, while those using MyCiTi pay R8,20 during peak hours and R5,50 off-peak.

Minibus taxi drivers say on average they take at least 15 minutes to get to Green Point, about the same time as MyCiti buses that use routes 108 and 109.

“The time taken by MyCiTi using these routes depends on time of the day … The journey may be affected by peak-hour period or other incident that may cause disruptions to the flow of traffic,” said Herron.

The MyCiTi Green Point route was rolled out in 2010.

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TOPICS:  Transport

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