Taximen welcome new bus service

THE eThekwini transport authority says its revamping of the city's People Mover Transport system has the support of all stakeholders in the industry.

An additional fleet of 13 brand-new 33-seater buses will be added to the system. The new vehicles cater for disabled people as well.

The system, which has been in existence since last year, survived on serving 10 key areas of the inner city and the beachfront and its surrounds.

Deputy head of municipal transport Erik Moller said the revamp would mean that more busses with more seating and standing room will be added to the fleet.

The buses will now travel past UShaka Marine going south and will stop at Moses Mabhida Stadium going north," Moller said.

The buses will operate seven days a week on a strict timetable, offering 15 minute intervals between busses all day long.

The busses operate from 5am to 10pm.

Moller said the People Mover initiative is the work of all taxi associations operating in Durban, so they are not expecting conflict or the disruption of the revamped system.

Durban Metropolitan Taxi Council secretary Mdu Xaba confirmed that the People Mover system was part of various taxi associations.

He said the buses were driven by former inner city taxi drivers and do not affect taxi associations on their routes.

"All of the directors in the company that owns the busses, Cooper Sunset, are taxi owners.

"Before we started with the system we had talks with all association members and reached agreement," Xaba said.

He said taxi owners on routes used by the buses are not opposing the system since it puts something in their pockets as well.

Commuters felt the revamp would be good for the city but did not want an increase in bus fares.

"I just hope all the new buses will be of a good standard like the existing ones and will not raise the fee," Zamokuhle Kunene, a waitress on the beach front, said

At present commuters pay R4 a trip.