by Nelson Mandela Bay

Nelson Mandela Bay on the move

Bus hand-over to boost public transport

PE's Integrated Public Transport System buses have been handed over to a new consortium of taxi and other operators.
integrated bus system

History has been made when the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality handed over 19 buses (bought during the 2010 Soccer World Cup) to a consortium owned by the local taxi industry and local bus company, Algoma Bus at Vuyisile Mini Square. 

The handover will finally see the start of the much anticipated Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) in the municipality.

The 19 buses are part of the 25 buses that the city purchased and used during the memorable soccer tournament. The department of transport has so far issued 19 operating licenses with the remaining 6 still undergoing fitness tests.

The handover of the buses follows three years of engagements between the national transport department, the municipality and the local taxi industry about operational plan of the system.

The IPTS, which has since been named Ibhongolethu, will be an integrated, safe, reliable, efficient, punctual and dependable public transport system.

A similar system is already in operation in cities like Johannesburg (Rea Vaya) and Cape Town (My City). This is the first time in the country where a government backed integrated public transport system has the taxi industry as major shareholders.

Eastern Cape MEC for Transport Thandiswa Marhawu, leaders of the local taxi industry, the municipality's political leadership led by Executive Mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile and his deputy, Nancy Sihlwayi, and a contingent of media and local business representatives attended the handover.

Speaking at the handover, Marhawu said the municipality had made the province proud.

Wayile called on all the parties involved to unite behind the project. “We have travelled a long road. We can not afford to go back now. Let's work together to give our people a safe and reliable transport system,” Wayile says.

The municipality has already spent more than R300 million on infrastructural developments in preparation of the IPTS through funding from the national department of transport.

New bus and taxi lanes have been made. From Monday the system will start operating with seven routes across the municipality.

• Route 300 is around Port Elizabeth CBD area. Starting point Lillian Diedericks Building, Govan Mbeki Avenue. The bus stops will be IPTS lanes.

• Route 301 is from CBD in front of Lillian Diedericks Building to Coega security gate and back. Route 302 is from CBD infront of Lillian Diedericks Building to Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolital University and back.

• Route 303 is from CBD infront of Lillian Diedericks Building to the Port Elizabeth Airport and back while route 304 will start from same point to Greenacres and back.

• Route 305 will start from Uitenhage CBD rank in Algoa Road to Despatch train station in Muchen Street and back while Route 306 will start from the same point to Kwanobuhle and back.

• The payment system will be cash. Fares before 13h00 will vary from R8 and R11 depending on distance. After 13h00 the fares are reduced to R7.50, R9.40 and R10.30 depending on distance. Each bus will have a designated security officer with a close circuit television surveillance. 

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This edition

Issue 68