BCM plan to save bus service accepted

Buffalo City Metro council has approved a new study plan to turn around the metro’s failed bus service
Buffalo City Metro council has approved a new study plan to turn around the metro’s failed bus service
Image: File

Buffalo City Metro council has approved a new study plan to turn around the metro’s failed bus service that operated at a loss of close to R48m between the 2006 and 2017 financial years.

The new plan comes as the metro has also cancelled a number of bus routes in an effort to save the inefficient service.

The new study was approved in the last council meeting after spatial planning and development head Nonceba Mbali-Majeng reported that “the current bus system is running at a deficit and is funded solely by the municipality”. As part of the new plan, BCM is seeking funding from the national department of transport and national treasury to revive the service and spread it to previously excluded residential areas.

In the report tabled before council, Mbali-Majeng said her department introduced the “redirecting of buses from routes with low occupancy rate to routes with high demand in order to optimise the usage of the buses”.

This was confirmed by BCM spokesperson Samkelo Ngwenya on Thursday.

“The Abbotsford route was cancelled and we have also cancelled all Saturday trips on all our routes,” he said, adding that the buses were also hired out on weekends for private use.

He the service would now be incorporated into the city-wide integrated public transport plan.

Spatial planning and development portfolio head councillor Pumla Nazo-Makatala said “ it was agreed that we will continue with the service.

“However, the townships do not benefit from the service and our new plan will change that.”

BCM has only five large buses and one small one. They operate in West Bank, Cambridge, Amalinda, Dawn, Baysville and Nahoon. Two of the 65-seaters are 16 and 19 years old and are in a poor condition.

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