GO GEORGE Wheels in Motion
The Department of Transport and Public Works, the George Municipality and the national Department of Transport are proud to announce that GO GEORGE – South Africa’s first non-metro integrated public transport network – is finally up and running with the roll-out of the first four routes on 8 December 2014. The service is set to connect thousands of commuters in a safe, reliable and cost-effective way.
The first four routes are:
- Loerie Park to the CBD.
- Rosemoor to the CBD and Garden Route Mall.
- Denneoord to the CBD and CBD to Wilderness (initially only as far as the Garden Route Mall).
Passengers can make use of free transfers between buses within 45 minutes of purchasing their ticket. Initially, the large buses will be used on the first routes and may be replaced on some routes with smaller buses at a later stage.
The fare for any trip within a 15 km radius will be R8.50. Tickets will only be sold on the buses and passengers are requested to have the correct change or as close to the correct amount as possible. The bus service will operate 18 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week from around 06:00 until 23:00. Frequencies will depend on demand, with more buses during peak times. Ambassadors will initially be present on the buses to explain how the system works.
The network is the first complete non-metro integrated transport transformation project in South Africa. It was planned and implemented in collaboration with transport operators in the area and is a partnership between all three spheres of government.
Millions have been invested in new infrastructure and upgrades to link outlying areas like Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp to the rest of the town. These include roadway civil works as well as all bus stops and the construction of a fully functional bus depot. Arterial roads have also been upgraded to ensure optimal operation of the network.
Deidre Ribbonaar, acting Chief Director of Transport Operations at the department, says a significant breakthrough is that George has pioneered the first accessible minibus transport vehicle as part of its mixed fleet of vehicles.
“This was a ground-breaking development, and has been accepted by the national Department of Transport as a workable solution given that there are no universally accessible minibuses available in the country,” she said.
GO GEORGE is a model for integrated transport solutions in South Africa’s non-metro and rural areas. It promises to be a huge success and a testament to the tangible value of partnership, public sector investment, good inter-governmental relations and effective stakeholder management.