Subsidised bus services for Tshwane people

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadrt MMC Ismail Vadi. Photo: Supplied.

Autopax buses will no longer operate in Mamelodi by the end of this month, the Gauteng department of roads and transport announced on Thursday.

It said the subsidised bus contracts will be ended after an agreement signed by the Tshwane metro’s transport MMC Sheila Lynn Senkubuge.

Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport Ismail Vadi said the signing of the agreement represents a milestone in the transport sector.

 

“It opens the way for the city to take over full public transport responsibilities,” Vadi said.

He said an inter-governmental authorisation agreement was signed by the metro.

“Ideally, public transport services should be managed at a local level and the agreement paves the way for Tshwane to progressively take over the function,” said Vadi.

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Senkubuge welcomed the move saying that the city will develop over time, its capacity to take on this important public transport function.

In terms of the agreement, the department and the metro have agreed to provide efficient and continuous public transport services, particularly in Mamelodi, where subsidised bus services were being rendered for the past two years by Autopax.

“Autopax, as a state-owned transport entity, had stepped in to assist the department with bus services when Putco in 2015 voluntarily surrendered its contract to the department due to company losses on the Mamelodi routes,” Vadi said.

 

Currently, the department also oversees subsidised bus services to townships in Pretoria such as Atteridgeville, Hammanskraal and along the Moloto corridor.

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The agreement authorises the provincial roads and transport department to continue to contract subsidised bus services in terms of the National Land Transport Act until such time as the city is ready to take over the function.

“At the same time, the department will help to strengthen the technical capacity of the city to manage the contracts over time.”

Vadi confirmed that both parties will be reviewing existing subsidised bus contracts in the city.

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He also indicated that the open tender for the Mamelodi bus services are to be published later this month.

Solomon Mahlangu Drive will be upgraded later this year.

“Very soon we will be putting out a tender for the upgrade of Solomon Mahlangu Drive. It will connect to the N4 freeway,” he said.

 

Commuters in Mamelodi boarding the bus. Photo: Archives.

 

AutoPax Bus commuters in Mamelodi. Photo: Archives.

 

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  AUTHOR
Thato Mahlangu
Journalist

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