There has been a flurry of complaints on social media about MyCiTi drivers speeding and driving recklessly as well as confusing signalling at intersections for the dedicated bus service.
The comments followed a collision between a MyCiTi bus and a car earlier this month that left a woman dead.
Noting the online complaints, Tabletalk posted a request for community feedback about the MyCiTi service on the Greater Table View Forum (GTAF) and the Sunset Beach Home Owners’ Association Facebook groups. At least 60 people responded.
Many complained about speeding and confusing signals. Others said they were forced to take their misgivings online because their complaints to MyCiTi and the City of Cape Town had failed to yield results.
Referring to the death of the motorist on the R27 on Sunset Beach on Tuesday August 3, Table View resident Mal Bailey said the MyCiTi traffic lights were “dangerous” because “you see a green light and assume it’s a go for you” whereas the green light was actually intended for the bus.
Gillian Bush, of Sunningdale agreed.
“My only problem with the MyCiTi system is the red traffic lights with the arrow above it. Personally, I feel that as there is a pulsating green arrow to show it is your turn to go, there should be a static red arrow when you have to stop. Too many people don’t see the arrow on top of the traffic light and simply move when the traffic on their left moves off.
“I see it on an almost daily basis. I have made this suggestion to the City a number of times over the years, but nothing ever comes of it.”
However, Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, said “preliminary indications” were that the motorist killed in the August 3 incident had made a U-turn in front of the bus.
“Motorists are reminded to please adhere to traffic light signals at all times and to be mindful of the red roads (bus rapid lanes) where the MyCiTi buses have right of way,” he said.
Pedestrians should also only cross at designated spots.
Mr Herron said bus-tracking data and CCTV cameras monitored the bus drivers – who are hired by MyCiTi’s vehicle operating contractors (VOCs) – and they were fined if found guilty of traffic violations.
In June alone, R25 170 worth of penalties had been issued to the VOCs, he said.
“ These penalties have been paid to the City and relate to schedule adherence, employees’ conduct and compliance, among others. Furthermore, as is stipulated in their contracts with the City, VOCs are required to report on the outcome of disciplinary action against employees,” said Mr Herron.
Not all the comments on social media have been negative, though.
“I’ve been using the MyCiTi bus for the last two months between Table View and Cape Town. I can’t really complain about them speeding. I know a lot of the drivers are ex taxi drivers, but I must admit that I can’t really complain about the trip between Table View and Civic Centre.
“What I can complain about are pedestrians and car commuters taking chances in either walking or driving in front of buses. There are issues that one can complain about but it is not driver related,” said Angelique Henn, of Table View.
Mr Herron said allegations against bus operators were taken very seriously and passenger safety was paramount.
“I can assure commuters that we are holding our VOCs to their contractual operating standards and obligations. Commuters are also requested to report any incidents or allegations of misconduct by MyCiTi personnel to the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63. All complaints are investigated and if substantiated, there are consequences for the VOCs,” said Mr Herron.