The roll-out of Cape Town’s MyCiTi bus service has not been without its problems. Now the city is implementing a ticket covering this and other modes of transport. File picture: SUNDAY TIMES
The roll-out of Cape Town’s MyCiTi bus service has not been without its problems. Now the city is implementing a ticket covering this and other modes of transport. File picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The buses are grubby‚ at least R36m worth of ticket money has been stolen, and the boss faces the chop‚ but the City of Cape Town is still celebrating its MyCiTi transport service.

The bus rapid transport system generated R21.4m in November‚ a new monthly record‚ mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said on Thursday. It also achieved a record number of passengers — 219‚000 — on its N2 Express routes linking the city centre with Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain.

MyCiTi’s blue buses have not been washed for months due to the drought‚ and PwC is finalising a report on the theft of the R36m — and possibly more — by ticket sellers‚ at least 22 of which have been fired.

Transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead will learn on Friday whether she is to be suspended pending her disciplinary hearing on several charges involving alleged maladministration and misconduct. And mayor Patricia de Lille faces investigations by the council and the DA for allegedly covering up Whitehead’s wrongdoing.

In spite of all this‚ Herron said he was "elated" that N2 Express buses‚ which started operating in 2014 and 2015‚ had doubled passenger numbers in the past two years. He added that 99% of the buses in the afternoon peak‚ between 3pm and 7pm‚ ran on time.

"The major increase in the passenger numbers confirms that more and more commuters from the metro south-east are relying on the MyCiTi service to get to work and school‚" said Herron, but noted that the MyCiTi boom had coincided with the deterioration of Metrorail’s central line. "We are doing all we can to assist the rail commuters from the metro south-east by deploying more buses on the N2 Express routes."

Cape Town wants to take over commuter rail in Cape Town‚ and the Transport and Urban Development Authority has convened a rail summit next month to come up with short-term solutions to the central line’s crime and vandalism-related woes‚ which have shut it down twice in the last month.

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