I was tasked with writing a piece on the MyCiti bus. Well, I must be honest and confess to being sceptical at first. I do not see any reason to be piled into an over-sized car and have strangers as one’s next-door neighbours for two hours.
I received a myconnect card and had the correct amount for my trip credited on the card. I managed to stumble onto the bus and found a seat, far enough away from other people not to attract attention to myself. The first thing that I noticed is that the bus is rather like economy class on an aeroplane. I licked my lips with delight, thinking I could write about how useless this service is, and how I would rather sit listening to a poor rendition of a Leonard Cohen song than have to face the daunting task of ages on a MyCiti bus.
However, sadly it was not to be. The staff members at the stations I visited were all well-mannered and very well-informed about happenings at their station. I even gathered up the courage to ask my fellow passengers how they “enjoy” the MyCiti bus. Much to my horror, I had a lady raving about the service for a good 20 minutes. She even went on to say that she does not own a vehicle, and relies solely on the bus to get around. When probed further, she explained all the advantages of having the myconnect card. One advantage she particularly enjoyed was that she can shop with it at Pick n Pay, using it as a debit card.
The truth is that this is a rather good service and I noticed a general level of respect from all passengers. Much like a first date, in fact, with people smiling at each other and putting their best feet forward.
I used this service hoping to give you a horror story – to scare you into staying in your cars and never uttering the swear words, “public transport” again, as I had hoped never to do. However, the truth is that this is a stress-free service that saves you money, and a building block for our city.
So you other petrol heads out there, give MyCiTi a try, and become a part of a forward-facing Cape Town.