As consumers struggle with the constant increases in the price of food and electricity, commuters will now have to contend with another hike in the price of bus fare. Golden Arrow announced on Friday that fares will increase by 7.2% as of the 29th of December 2014.
The bus company’s spokesperson Bronwen Dyke said they will be increasing passenger bus fare due to the fact that a number of cost factors have come into effect. Amongst these factors is the nationally determined wage increase of 9.5% as well as a shortfall in subsidy.
“This has impacted negatively and has necessitated a revision of fares. To put the fare increase into perspective the price of a trip between Khayelitsha and Cape Town, which is the route with the highest passenger number will increase by 73c from R10 to R10.73 in the case of a monthly clip-card,” Dyke explained.
The decision to adjust fares was not taken lightly and the company has endeavoured to keep the adjustment as low as possible. In this regard, fare for pensioners will remain the same.
“The per trip increase remains within the perimeter of affordability. Passengers should also note that it is always more cost effective to purchase a clip card.”
She added that GABS has for the last four years been limiting its increases and have experienced a revenue shortfall.
Meanwhile, the price hike has been met with surprise by bus commuters. Some passengers VOC News spoke to felt that the increase is necessary due to the fact that the cost of living rising every year.
“When the price of goods and services increase, then transport costs usually go up. It the circle of life I guess,” said Lentegeur traveller Marlon Abrahams.
“Everything has gone up over the past year, so it’s to be expected. But yet, when prices increase, the service levels [at Golden Arrow] don’t,” added Rocklands resident Naseegha Samuels.
Other bus commuters said the rise in bus far was “ridiculous” as passengers are already paying a lot for their transport.
“The bus is supposed to be a cheaper form of transport. We simply cannot afford these prices,” said an upset Zubeida Tagodien from Athlone.
Ashiq Rylands said South Africa’s public transport system was failing commuters.
“Golden Arrow prices are ridiculous, Metrorail is in a shambles and taxis are a rip-off. There’s just no easy way out for public transport users,” he lamented.
Some commuters said they forced to make use of the service due to the fact that GABS is the only transport provider in certain areas. VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)