Independent survey reveals high levels of satisfaction with GABS’ services

5 June 2023
Mobility Department

Joint media release

The Cape Peninsula University on Technology handed over its fifth, independently administered, Customer Satisfaction Survey to Western Cape Minister of Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie on 2 June 2023.

Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) commissioned the Department of Mathematics & Physics at CPUT to administer the survey, which was conducted in September 2022 with over 2 000 passengers at six bus termini throughout the Cape Town metropole. The project was coordinated by academic staff members, while 25 second-year Mathematical Sciences students were appointed as enumerators and data capturers.

According to Dr Thomas Farrar, Acting Head of Department of Mathematics & Physics, “the project contributed to research on public transport in Cape Town, an area of vital economic importance to the local community, while also generating third-stream income for the institution and providing students with paid work experience”.

CPUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Chris Nhlapo says the institution’s continued connection to GABS shows that the university is embedded in the communities it serves.

“Our research must respond to real world problems and attempt to fix them. We also endeavour to graduate students who are compassionate and empathetic. By partnering with GABS, we have a unique opportunity to do just that,” he says.

At the event Western Cape Minister of Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie, complimented the joint effort by GABS and CPUT.

“There is an old adage that says 'you can’t manage what you can’t measure.’ These efforts not only help us to manage the delivery of our mission for safer and better mobility - they also represent something South Africans desperately want from all spheres of government - real accountability and transparency of delivery and its impact on peoples' lives."

The aim of the survey

The five primary topics covered were perceptions of service quality, use of GABS, opinions on cashless fare collection service, access to financial services and technology and demographic information.

The results

The demographic profile of GABS passengers reveals that there is a 52-48 split in favour of male passengers with most self-identifying as Black African (62%) or Coloured (35%). In terms of the total number surveyed, 62% are currently employed and 28% are full time students. Just over 62% of passengers have a matric certificate or higher. Most passengers (63%) travel between four and five days per week.

When asked if they would recommend Golden Arrow’s services to friends and family, 95.3% responded positively. When asked directly about their overall level of satisfaction, 80% of passengers scored a 4 or 5 out of 5 (an increase of 32% since 2012) and 17% indicate a score of 3. 

In terms of ratings within the Perceptions of Service Quality (PSQ) section of the survey, passengers were most satisfied with the Gold Card payment system, the ease of boarding and alighting buses, the mechanical reliability of buses and the driving ability of bus drivers. Scoring at the lowest end of satisfaction were the conditions of bus stops and shelters, the level of crowding on buses and levels of safety.

Bus stops and shelters are a municipal competency and GABS continues to lobby the City of Cape Town for improvements in this regard. Golden Arrow is constrained in terms of adding additional capacity but will continue to look at ways to address perceptions of overcrowding. In terms of addressing safety concerns, this remains a priority and more than 90% of buses have now been fitted with cameras. Golden Arrow works closely with SAPS and law enforcement and a number of arrests have been made as a result. 

According to Golden Arrow Chief Executive Officer Francois Meyer, the survey has become a vital information gathering tool. “Golden Arrow is always seeking ways to understand the needs of our passengers and to improve our service offerings. This survey provides key insights that are used throughout the company to ensure that we are meeting and exceeding expectations. We will ensure that we continue to improve across the board, but particularly where passengers have shown the lowest levels of satisfaction,” he says.

 Issued by: Cape Peninsula University of Technology and Golden Arrow Bus Services

Media enquiries:     

Lauren Kansley (CPUT)

076 185 3410

Bronwen Dyke-Beyer (GABS)

021 507 8801