The City of Cape Town has announced that they are seeking an interim operator for the N2 Express service. This comes after the N2 Express Company shareholders, namely the Cape Organisation for the Democratic Taxi Association (Codeta), the Route 6 Taxi Association and the Golden Arrow Bus Service failed to meet a deadline for the N2 Express service to be reinstated on 28 September. Meanwhile, the City has also indicated that the Dial-a-Ride service tariffs will be amended to ensure the adequate maintenance of vehicles. Dial-a-Ride services are expected to be up and running under normal capacity within the next few months, according to Alderman Felicity Purchase.
“We have a very tight Municipal Finance Management Act which allows us to only enter into certain agreements under certain conditions, and we cannot change the conditions…we’ve been talking to Codeta and in August we gave the joint venture notice that if they couldn’t ‘find themselves’ so that we can start operating by 28 September, we’d make other plans,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
“We can’t allow them to vacillate like this forever.”
The City of Cape Town and the N2 Express Company shareholders have been involved in negotiations relating to the service due to an “unresolved contractual problem between the City and the shareholders of the route” according to reports by News24. Since then, the operation of the route has been stalled, forcing many commuters to find alternative modes of transport – some of which result in increased travel expenses.
Codeta has now reportedly also lodged a formal complaint against the City with regard to alleged irregularities in the collapse of the N2 Express service.
The City is calling on all transport operators capable of providing an effective and efficient service to come forward with quotations and proposals. New interim service providers will need to show that they have the ability to operate a bus service with drivers, a garage and all the necessary credentials in order.
The advert is due to float today, according to Alderman Purchase.
“Codeta wants to run the service to Khayelitsha, exclusively…but it doesn’t work that way.”
“There are all sorts of other issues involved and the agreement with the joint venture was because all three parties gave up rights on those routes.”
Purchase has confirmed that the Dial-a-Ride service is being improved and that tariffs will be amended in light of inflation rates and fuel hikes.
“…inflation being what it is and the price of fuel having gone up has put them at a disadvantage in that they haven’t been able to maintain their vehicles adequately,” said Purchase.
She says that City representatives assessed the Dial-a-Ride vehicles and found that the operating service was disadvantaged under the current provisions afforded to them. The tariffs will be amended to remedy the service providers inability to do the requisite maintenance work on vehicles.
“We hope those vehicles will be up and running and back to the 23 vehicles – at least – within the next few months.”