City public transport project promises improved safety for commuters

150 Mini-Bus Taxis known as Moja Cruise driving through the city. PHOTO by Rudy Nkgadima.

TO mark the beginning of the City’s public transport transformation, a parade of 150 Mini-Bus Taxis known as Moja Cruise, drove through the central CBD to the City Hall on Monday. Moja Cruise, which has been developed as a voluntary Incentive Programme aims to empower the taxi industry across all levels. The scheme was designed in collaboration with the Ethekwini Management Taxi Council (EMTC) the official partner of the programme, and includes, improved customer care, assures roadworthy vehicles and promotes better driving.

Head of the eThekwini Transport Authority (EAT) Thami Manyathi said Moja Cruise aims to empower the industry at all levels to provide better levels of service and safety to commuters while developing the industry towards a more formal and scheduled service structure.

“Five hundred vehicles will be used to test the programme to resolve any teething problems before rolling out the programme to the industry as a whole. In preparation for this roll-out, additional consultations with the relevant taxi associations were done and some initial assumptions that were made in the original submission were revisited. Some of these additional functions were identified to ensure the effectiveness and success of the programme. The tabled report states that additional funding is required for some of these additional functions and are critical to move the programme ahead,” he said.

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Going forward Manyathi said, “the City plans to develop public-private partnerships to support a bigger rewards programme which will help add value to the business operations of the taxis such as discounts on tyres, services and insurance among others. “ETA is now finalising the process to begin the pilot implementation in the next three months. The programme will effectively track vehicles and obtain feedback from the various structures like rank marshals, associations and state-of-the-art tracking systems.”

In addition, commuters will be asked to rate their experiences. This will all feed into a system which rewards the drivers and operators for excellence on a monthly basis.Council also approved the additional budget from the originally approved budget of R131 million to R202 million to cater for the programme set-up and management, Skills Development Programme, vehicles set up, driver induction and training, vehicle decals, marketing and communication, vehicle tracking units, tracker data, incentives for drivers, value added tax and contingency.

 

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