Weather woes for bus commuters

Commuters of route 260 from Summer Greens brave the elements at temporary bus shelters in the area.

Summer Greens residents want the area’s two-year-old “temporary” MyCiTi bus stops replaced with permanent shelters with lighting and protection from the elements.

Resident, Amanda O’Brien said she had battled to get answers out of the City about when bus shelters would be built.

She said the temporary bus stops were dangerous “given that there is no proper lighting where the temporary bus stop is situated, in addition to that there are open fields close to two of these stops”.

She’s also unhappy that Summer Greens residents have no direct bus route to town and have to catch several buses to get there.

Summer Greens Neighbourhood Watch chairman Reagan Croeser said they had raised the issue of safety at bus stop with the Summer Greens Residents’ Association.

“Last year, we had three incidents where people were robbed at some of these bus stops. In one of the incidents, we caught the guy responsible, but this will not always be the case. We can ask for more visibility from police but ultimately, it is the City’s responsibility to make sure that we have proper infrastructure and avoid such incidents,” he said.

Sibongiseni Ngcobo lives near one of the stops, which he said, despite being “temporary”, had been around for two years.

“I am worried about the fact that we don’t have these shelters and lighting at the stops. I would understand if the City told us when all this was going to happen but the issue here is that there is a lack of communication. We don’t know what is going on in terms of plans to address this matter.

“It’s almost winter now and it gets darker quicker. We need to know if there is a plan or not so that we know where we stand in this matter,” he said.

Transport and urban development Mayco member Brett Herron said Summer Greens was included in a project to build 127 MyCiTi bus shelters across the city.

“A contractor will be appointed early next year and we expect construction to commence in March 2019 and to be completed within 12 months, if all goes as planned.

“The temporary poles in Summer Greens do not have their own lighting because these stops are temporary until such time as the final locations of the MyCiTi bus stops have been determined. We could consider relocating the temporary stops to a more suitable area where there is better lighting,” said Mr Herron.

Another Summer Green resident, Natasha Buthelezi, said she would like to see MyCiTi running to Bothasig and back as many of the schoolchildren in Summer Greens had to use minibus taxis or private lift clubs which was expensive.

“The closest schools to our area are the ones in Bothasig. Most of the parents cannot afford these cost and therefore children as small as primary school children have to walk cross two bridges whether it is summer or winter,” she said.

Mr Herron said route 260 that operates between Summer Greens and Milnerton Lighthouse was used by commuters to connect with the T01 and T02 trunk routes to the civic centre in the Cape Town CBD.

“In addition, the Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS) is operating a few direct buses between Summer Greens and the Cape Town CBD in the morning and evening peak hour periods, providing commuters from these areas with an alternative and direct route.

“The existing Golden Arrow Bus Service operating in the areas east of the N7, among which is Bothasig, will continue serving commuters from these areas,” he said.

He added that Golden Arrow bus service was due to be integrated into the MyCiTi network at a later stage.

Milnerton police spokeswoman Captain Adriana Chandler said police patrolled transport hubs regularly.

She advised those using them not to walk alone or talk to strangers.

“Be on the lookout for strange cars or people. Walk in well-lit busy streets and in a group, if possible. Trust your instincts and avoid displaying valuables where criminals can see them,” she said.