Integrated Public Transport System will only be up and running next year

Nelson Mandela Bay’s R1-billion plus Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) will only be rolled out in the new financial year, which begins in July 2013.

This follows after a special Mayoral Committee meeting with Executive Mayor, Zanoxolo Wayile, was convened yesterday to consider key items aimed at speeding up service delivery in Nelson Mandela Bay.

In the meeting it was revealed that the municipality along with the public transport operators, Lumen Technologies and ICT Works, were gearing up to launch the pilot service of the IPTS, with the intention to roll-out a full IPTS service in various phases starting during the 2013/2014 financial year.

Having been touted to launch in late 2010, the IPTS instead fell apart as taxi organisations bickered with one another and the municipality over the implementation of the system, while 25 articulated buses worth R100-million that had been specifically imported for the 2010 World Cup, stand unused.

It was further agreed that the pilot phase will be implemented for a period not exceeding 12 months.

This stems from the fact that Lumen Technologies and ICT Works were awarded the multimillion-rand contracts to operate the IPTS without the matter going out to tender.

The argument for not putting the contracts out to tender was that calling for tender submissions would have taken too long to finalise and would have put the R175-million grant at risk of being taken back by the Treasury.

The Mayoral Committee meeting considered and approved the following items, pending ratification by the next sitting of full Council,

 a)    Draft Operations Plan: The Draft Operational Plan details the seven routes to be used during the pilot phase. The operational plan also dictates the operating times and service frequencies as well as the fare collection system.

b)   Draft Business Plan for Pilot Service: This involves capital and operating cost estimates to be incurred by the Municipality and the costs of operating the vehicles by the Joint Venture comprising of Algoa Bus and the Taxi Industry.

c)    Other draft agreements which were considered include: Draft Cession and delegation agreement, Draft asset transfer agreements as well as draft operator agreement.

All the plans are also subject to the approval of Eastern Cape Department of Transport, National Department of Transport and national Treasury, respectively.

The meeting also approved, subject to Council ratification, the name and logo for the Integrated Public Transport System.