More pain for Cape commuters as Golden Arrow hikes bus fares by 7%

Commuters at the Golden Arrow bus terminus Cape Town. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Commuters at the Golden Arrow bus terminus Cape Town. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 19, 2024


Cape Town - Golden Arrow Bus Service (Gabs) commuters have expressed mixed reactions about having to fork out more money from next month, after the transport service announced it will be hiking fares by an average of 7%.

Gabs general manager Derick Meyer said the increase was to have come into effect in December last year.

“We remain acutely aware of the difficult economic climate in which our passengers find themselves and therefore took the unprecedented decision to delay our standard endof-year increase which should have taken place in December.”

Vuyiswa Cele, 32, travels from Observatory to Cape Town and back in the evening, and currently pays R560 for her monthly bus ticket.

Cele said the rise was a bitter pill to swallow. “I don’t understand the reason for the increase and it’s making an already difficult financial situation even worse. I cannot afford this increase but there is nothing I can do because the bus is more convenient.

“It’s really difficult when things keep increasing but the salary is still the same. If taxis are not increasing I think I will have to opt for taking a taxi now,” Cele said.

A 24-year-old, who asked to remain anonymous, travels from Southfield to Cape Town and back in the evening.

Her monthly bus ticket costs more than R800. She said she was aware that when the price of petrol increased, so did the cost of living.

“Golden Arrow workers also have families to put food on the table for. I think an increase should be due to them as well. I will be paying more for travelling but it’s not a big change for me,” she said.

Automobile Association spokesperson, Layton Beard, said a 7% increase in bus fare was in line with inflation.

“I think a lot of this has to do with the price of fuel increasing. This is not great for consumers as salary and wages stay the same but everything else goes up. People at this point cannot stretch their budget in a very dire situation,” he said.

CEO of operations at the Motor Industry Staff Association (Misa), Martlé Keyter, said commuters had to bear the brunt of the 7% increase, however, she also understood Gabs’ predicament.

“Statistics show that South African families are under heavy strain due to the unchanged interest rate, increase in the fuel price, persistent load shedding, increasing food inflation to name but a few,” she said.

“For a union like Misa, the preservation of jobs is of utmost importance. It is either to increase fares or possible job losses, which cannot be allowed in South Africa with its unacceptably high unemployment rate,” she said.

Among the increases are:

  • Cash price from Atlantis to Cape Town will increase from R47 to R50.50.
  • Cash price from Cape Town to Mitchells Plain will increase from R40 to R43.
  • Cash price from Cape Town to Wynberg will increase from R23 to R24.50.

Meyer said the Gabs interim operating contract with the Western Cape government made provision for adjustments to fares to offset operational cost increases.

“This increase is not only unavoidable but essential to ensure that Golden Arrow is able to remain sustainable and to maintain the same exceptional level of services which 96% of passengers would recommend to friends and family.

“Weekly and monthly products are sold at a discount of up to 45%. GABS Gold Cards, a once-off purchase, are still priced at R35. The price of pensioners products will remain unchanged,” he said.

For more information regarding the price hike, call: 0800 65 64 63.

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