New measures for Metrobus
City of Johannesburg’s bus service company Metrobus has announced steps to improve its operational efficiency in order to provide a safer service to commuters.
The bus company has been blemished by a spate of accidents since July 2014, including the recent incident, where two buses collided head-on along Jan Smuts avenue, claiming three lives and injuring 66 passengers.
In a candid briefing, Metrobus Managing Director Mavela Dlamini admitted that the bus service was facing challenges with bad driver behaviour, incompetence of management and ageing fleet.
“We have about 412 buses, 126 of which are 10 years old. The customers are not happy because our bus schedule is not reliable due to the breakdowns [of busses].”
In what he labelled a ‘grossly under managed Metrobus service’, Dlamini said the problem cascaded to drivers, saying “there’s no consistence in face to face communication with drivers”.
He further announced that the company would be spending R500-million on the re-fleeting of 150 new buses, which would be delivered in June. “These new buses will be targeted primarily at high demand bus schedules.”
He said the company had developed a new strategic plan that will guide the business activities over the next five years. This includes driver skills development, improved technology, frequent communication between the employer and employees as well as the installation of speed governors to monitor and prevent reckless driving.
“We want to be seen as a professional, caring and dependable commuter transport operator and we need the best skills at all levels of the organisation to realise these ideals, starting with prudent and effective management right up to the driving teams at our disposal. This requires vigilance in managing the business and commitment to serve the people of Johannesburg very well,” Dlamini added.