No Metrorail commuter services for now, says Mbalula

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday outlined the adjustments for transport in the country under Alert Level 4 of the lockdown, which comes into effect today.

“We have always been mindful that transport is not only an enabler of economic activity and access to social amenities, but also a potent instrument, capable of spreading the Covid-19 virus far and wide,” he said.

Here are 8 takeouts from his briefing relating to public transport:

1. All road-based public transport services are permitted to operate from 05h00 until 19h00, with a grace period of 1 hour in the afternoon to complete their trips and drop off passengers. This includes minibus-taxis, buses, metered taxis, e-hailing services, charter and shuttle services.

2. No public transport is allowed on the road between 20h00 and 05h00.

3. No person is allowed to use of public transport who is not wearing a face mask.

4. Buses will be allowed to transport 70% passengers of their licensed loading capacity, with requisite social distancing, wearing of masks by all passenger and other mitigating measures.

5. Loading capacity for metered taxis and e-hailing services remains at 50%.  A 5-seater vehicle is permitted to carry a maximum of 2 passengers and a driver.

6. Loading capacity for minibus-taxis remains at 70% of licensed passengers, with social distancing and other mitigating measures remaining in place. It is unlawful to charge passengers more fees if the taxi is 70% full.

7. PRASA will only resume with a limited service once the National Coronavirus Command Council declares the risk-adjustment to Level 3, with the return of the Pienaarspoort line in Tshwane and the Southern line in Cape Town. There will be no immediate resumption of Metrorail commuter services.

8. Gautrain operations will be gradually re-introduced in all rail-based services, covering 8 of their 9 stations.  There will be no airport service.