Service will first be available to passengers on Cleary Park route
The Integrated Public Transport System will be up and running in two weeks, mayoral committee member for roads and transport Rano Kayser said yesterday. His statement comes just days after the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality put out a tender calling for interested parties to supply monitoring equipment for the vehicles.
Now in its 18th month of office, the municipal administration, steered by a DA-led coalition, said yesterday it would launch the first phase of the IPTS project during the last week of this month.
That would mean buses on the roads and available to the public.
On several occasions last year, The Herald reported that the IPTS project launch date had been pushed back from April, with trial runs on the Cleary Park route to take place in November.
Kayser said yesterday that the municipality had ironed out creases highlighted during the trial run and was working hard to ensure the launch later this month.
“There have been some difficulties in concluding/renewing a maintenance contract with Volvo to ensure that faults are fixed before the official launch,” he said.
“These few last obstacles are envisaged to be concluded within [two] weeks from [yesterday].”
Although the April date came and went, Kayser said the November and December test runs had been very successful.
“The driver training and testing of buses were very successful and the drivers are ready,” he said.
Kayser said it was difficult to determine the total expenditure so far “as the IPTS project is ongoing, and so is [the] expenditure”.
The municipality has issued a total of six calls for tenders.
One issued this week called for suppliers of monitoring equipment and for its management.
Kayser said there were an intensive two weeks ahead for the municipality in preparation for the launch.
This included the branding of 100 taxis that would work as feeders to the buses, processing and verifying these taxis as well as the removal of 100 taxis from the route.
“The contract has been signed with Spectrum Alert, which is a vehicle operating company owned by the taxi industry that will operate the Cleary Park route,” Kayser said.
He said some of the tenders that had gone out were in preparation for the launch of the Njoli and western suburbs routes later this year.