Red Dot reaches new service delivery milestones
The Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) Red Dot and Red Dot Lite safe transport services reached new service delivery milestones by 7 September 2020. Red Dot Lite, which provides safe transport home for Western Cape public sector health workers, has conducted over 70 000 passenger trips over 1,1 million passenger kilometres since its inception in April this year. Red Dot, which provides safe transport for people going to and from quarantine and isolation (Q&I) facilities, has completed over 10 000 passenger trips over the same period.
The safe transport of healthcare workers is a critical part of the fight against COVID-19. It helps to protect the health and wellbeing of our healthcare workers, reduce their stress, and maintain the capacity of our healthcare system. At the same time, the transport of individuals to and from Q&I facilities is a critical part of the Western Cape Government’s strategy to prevent community spread of the virus.
DTPW established these services in partnership with the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO). The service is provided through the SANTACO operating company Umanyano Travel Services (UTS). Umanyano is the Xhosa word for unity.
Red Dot vehicles are fitted with protective screens to separate the driver and passengers, are fitted with vehicle trackers, and are branded with the recognisable Red Dot sticker. The vehicles are thoroughly cleaned and sanitised after every trip. All drivers have gone through the Red Dot taxi training programme, which includes health and safety protocols. Hand sanitiser is available onboard for drivers and passengers. Vehicles may only carry 50% of their licensed carrying capacity to allow for adequate social distancing.
Services are carefully monitored with onboard vehicle trackers, on-the-ground field monitoring, and passenger cellphone feedback using the USSD code *134*234#. These sources of data are all linked in DTPW’s Integrated Transport Hub. Passengers can book their trips using a USSD code or a purpose-built app called Frontline Hero. A driver app has been developed to dispatch and communicate with drivers in the field.