The GO GEORGE bus service has transported passengers over a distance of 4,3 million kilometres over the past municipal financial year. Over the same period – July 2020 to June 2021 – a total of 319 910 trips have been operated.
While Government is focusing on transport awareness during October, GO GEORGE is marking a historic journey navigating through the Covid pandemic, providing continuous services while constantly adapting its approach.
Having started out with 10 buses in December 2014, the GO GEORGE fleet currently consists of 54 standard buses, 33 midibuses and 35 minibuses.
Automated fare collection
Three years since the GO GEORGE Smart Card was introduced, 68 559 cards have been sold to date. To support Covid-safety measures, cash sales of trips on the bus was discontinued in June 2020, so that all passengers now need a card to board the bus. Trips loaded on the card are the cheapest way of travelling on the system and vary from one trip to a variety of bigger bundles to fit the passenger’s budget – getting cheaper the more you buy.
A total of 3,7 million passenger trips have been undertaken over the last year, averaging 11 656 passengers per weekday. This figure indicates a decrease compared to the previous year, which is a result of the restricted service during Covid lockdown.
The road network coverage on the current 26 routes that are being operated is 142 kilometres. That is the length of road utilised by GO GEORGE, irrespective of the number of routes that use it. Substantial upgrades are continuously being done on roads on the network, including roads that are currently being used as well as roads that will be needed for future planning.
All bus stops are continuously assessed against various criteria to determine where the next shelters should be erected. Bus shelters are installed at these locations once a route has stabilised and user patterns have been established. To date, 122 permanent shelters have been installed, of which 65 have also been fitted with lights. A further 22 temporary shelters will eventually be replaced with permanent structures.
Unfortunately, a staggering 90% of shelters are vandalised within the first few weeks of being erected. This requires ongoing costly repairs which drain funds and ultimately delays the erection of new shelters.
James Robb, GO GEORGE Manager, expressed his appreciation for the dedication of all role-players in taking the bus service forward in George. “We remain committed to our role in Government’s plan to bring affordable and reliable public transport to the people,” he said. “Considering that less than 30% of George residents have access to a private car, we are dedicated to ensuring that our citizens have access to the system.”