Executive Mayor for George, Alderman Charles Standers has indicated that despite many challenges, the government and industry role-players of the Go George project are working non-stop to implement a world class system that will be of benefit to the whole community of George.
The much anticipated George Integrated Public Transport Network (GIPTN) project is now in its final phase pf planning and getting ready for roll-out in stages. Starting with the less busy routes first, will give the bus drivers, as well as the newly formed bus company the opportunity to gradually transform from a taxi service – into a fully fledged scheduled bus service.
The George public transport system will be the first full transformation project done in collaboration with the taxi industry in South Africa and where the new bus system will provide a service to the whole community of George. The roll-out schedule has been guided by the taxi industry, as they will be running the service and it is vital that they are comfortable with the implementation and roll-out therof. The exact launch date will be made known to the public in due time but as things stand, the entire order of buses will be delivered by December 2014.
The Director of Civil Engineering Services for the George Municipality, Harold Basson says that the infrastructure needed for implementation will also be completed as scheduled.
Various delegations of the George role-players involved have visited both Johannesburg and Durban in order to review their transport systems in place, in terms of how they handle operations, monitoring and payments systems i.e Smart Card System. The George City Council will shortly be making the final decision regarding the bus tariff’s and following that the tariffs will be advertised in the press for public comment.
Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Charles Standers has emphasised that following the strategic goal of keeping George Green and Safe, proper training for the Go GEORGE drivers is one of the key elements needed for the success of this new municipal service. Training for bus drivers and other Go GEORGE staff will take place in the next few months. During the training period, buses will be used to facilitate the training process.
Safety will always be a priority when it comes to the GIPTN system. Staff and drivers will be on-hand to help ensure commuter safety and any other type of assistance passengers will require while on-route to their destination. To further promote a sense of safety for travellers, CCTV cameras will be installed on all buses at a later stage to help monitor safety in buses. CCTV cameras are already installed at several strategic points along the bus routes and will be monitored on a continuous basis.
The complexity of the project has made the planning prior to the initial implementation of great importance and this project is unique for South Africa in that the role-players drawn from all spheres of government; local, provincial and national have created a partnership with the taxi industry of George. This will also be the first project that will cover the full geographic area of a municipality.