A number of messages have appeared on our social media platforms about MyCiTi buses being over-loaded, with passengers being encouraged to stand, and others who have had to wait at stations until they can find a seat on a bus.
It is important that Transport for Cape Town (TCT) – as the Transport Authority for the City of Cape Town – place the following on record, about these comments made about the capacity of our MyCiTi buses especially during peak times.
The safety of our passengers is of utmost importance and we have various measures in place to ensure this.
The MyCiTi project was, like other international public transport systems, planned to have buses travel with standing passengers, especially during peak times. In this way, we can transport passengers in a safe fast and economical manner. If passengers are not willing to stand, queues will form and they will experience delays.
Adding additional buses where existing buses are not filled to practical capacity is not a solution as this would adversely affect MyCiTi’s sustainability over the long term. Anyone who has taken the London Underground, amongst many other examples, will know that MyCiTi is a relatively comfortable ride despite the necessity to stand during peak times.
Our buses are licensed and certified to carry a set number of seated and standing passengers. These passenger numbers appear on the window behind the driver at the front of every bus. If you believe that the bus you travelled on was carrying more people than listed on the window, please alert us immediately.
We run additional buses in the morning to pick up extra passengers along the route that are waiting for buses, but do not run any additional buses in the afternoon because of the above stated low occupancy.
Our planned capacity is in fact about 23% below the legal capacity for the 18m bus and 17% below legal capacity for the 12m bus (we call it “practical capacity”). The most recent survey, done on October 23, showed not a single bus over legal capacity; no 18m over practical capacity, and only four 12m buses over practical capacity. Generally the 12m buses are fuller than the 18m buses. The passenger load on 12m buses are on average in the peak 90% of practical capacity, and 74% of legal capacity.
It is to be expected that the vehicles in the peak are quite full – as in most well-utilised high-quality public transport systems in the world. A bus-rapid-transit system relies at peak upon high numbers of standing passengers. It is crucial to understand that this is what IRT has to be at peak to make it viable.
Please give up your seat for an elderly passenger or another passenger who may have trouble standing who might need it more than you do. Be considerate about others who share the bus with you. If you have to stand, please move down the aisle to allow other passengers to board. And when things go wrong, please let us know about it so we can do our best to fix it as quickly as possible.