By Anees Teladia
Dial-A-Ride passengers are dissatisfied and distressed at the quality of service they are receiving. Many users have faced situations where they have been left stranded, whilst others complain of the service showing up despite cancellations by users. Member of the Dial-A-Ride forum and an employee of Disabled People South Africa (DPSA), Elroy Lodewyk spoke to VOC Breakfast Beat and voiced his opinions on the pressing matter.
“People don’t want to complain anymore because the City doesn’t get back to them…nobody gets back to you,” said Lodewyk.
“Even if you cancel, the buses pitch up at your house. There are other people that could use that bus.”
Concerned with the constant shifting of blame and lack of accountability within the service, Lodewyk proposed a meeting which he feels could remedy the situation.
“Why can’t the three parties meet – the [Dial-A-Ride] forum, HG Travel and the City? That is my suggestion.”
City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase also weighed in on the issues mentioned by Lodewyk.
“The service is oversubscribed and that in itself always creates a need that we can’t meet entirely. Until such time as additional monies are put on the budget for this, we can’t enhance the service,” said Purchase.
“Where there are delays in the services or services aren’t provided, the onus is on the person to get in touch with the transport management centre, in which case that particular complaint will be investigated. Unless we get complaints, we can’t investigate.”
Alderman Purchase stated that there was only one complaint regarding the Dial-A-Ride service that she was aware of and that she was not ready to schedule a meeting with the Dial-A-Ride forum and HG Travel.
“I don’t want to commit to that [a meeting] …we have processes. We have a court order that we are working in terms of. I don’t want to commit to anything until I have verified all the details,” said Purchase.
“I’m not aware of all the complaints Elroy is referring to – I need the reference numbers to check them. But I do undertake to do that.”
As per VOC journalist Tauhierah Salie, DPSA held a meeting with the Dial-A-Ride forum on Saturday. They have decided to register for a march to parliament on the 25th April to demand that government address their concerns.