|Public Transport Operations in Constantia – another meeting about nothing to be done?
Keep this in perspective – The City Finance department writes off 75% of its traffic fine revenue EVERY year. This amounts to over 750 million rand a year (page 156 of the budget, or more than 10% of the entire City Wide rates base. It would pay for another 750 (seven hundred and fifty) cars on the road. See attachment.(write offs)
The number of taxi related complaints received by the City has increased in recent months thus resulting in a community meeting arranged by Cllr Liz Brunette at which officials from TCT (Transport for Cape Town) and Metro Law Enforcement presented, followed by a Q & A session.
There are 3 public transport organizations operating in the Constantia area: Golden Arrow Bus Service, the Constantia Taxi Association (TA) and the Wynberg Hout Bay TA.
Together they transport between 3 and 4 thousand commuters daily into the Constantia area. TA’s are required to keep to the routes stipulated in their operating licenses. Most of the complaints received relate to driver behaviour, boarding points, noise, urinating in public etc. and the need for proper facilities – offences should in theory be dealt with through City Traffic By-Laws as well as Noise and Nuisance By-Laws.
The problem we are told is that Law Enforcement do not have the resources to monitor and control behaviour 24/7. TCT have completed a study to look at user numbers and patterns and existing routes – the main objectives being to establish strategic boarding points.
The problem is that even where formal embayments have been provided, drivers pull over on passenger demand. Embayments are costly (approximately R500k each) so TCT need to be sure that they will be used. Also, some road reserves are too narrow to accommodate them. Initially they are proposing to construct 3 new ones – Constantia Main Rd at High Cape, Spaanschemat River Rd opposite Klein Constantia Rd and Ladies Mile at the Methodist Church.
Another objective of the study was to establish holding sites where taxis can park during off-peak times, hopefully to alleviate another frustration of residents. Possible sites are the Alphen Centre parking area (not fully utilized at present) and opposite the Ladies Mile old dump site.
Some of the questions asked by residents were:
- (Q)Why not use technology for law enforcement – (A) When the City take over from Province (PRE) as the public transport authority they will introduce, for example, taxi tracking devices
- (Q) A macro solution such as MyCiti is required – (A) MyCiti has been delayed due to the South Rd court case. It is probably 5 years away. However, the City itself now admit that Myciti is not going to put an end to taxis.
- (Q) What can residents do to report taxis breaking the law- (A) Phone 107 to log a complaint – it is important to note the TA number. For prosecution a case needs to be built so keep records of emails to the City, photos etc. To this end the CRRA is arranging for video footage of repeating offenders to be provided to Law Enforcement for further action.
THE FUTURE OF CONSTANTIA IS IN YOUR HANDS