To: Executive Mayor, City of Tshwane
FIX THE TSHWANE BUS SERVICE!
TO: Executive Mayor, City of Tshwane (CoT)
Commuters of the Tshwane Bus Service (TBS) have had enough of being inconvenienced by the frequent TBS bus driver protests, silence by the city and clear mismanagement of the service. We have been left vulnerable and stranded at bus stops almost monthly, for years. We have had enough!
As TBS commuters the city has disregarded our complaints, concerns and frustrations for far too long! We have been left in the dark with little to no communication from the city.
We demand that you Fix The Tshwane Bus Service!!!!
Our list of demands:
1. TBS Social Media Accounts:
The CoT must create Facebook and Twitter accounts that will effectively and consistently provide transparent customer service to TBS commuters. These accounts will deal with any queries and complaints posed as well as provide commuters with TBS related information in a timely fashion. Account operators must work the same times that the TBS buses operate (this includes possible future protest periods).
2. A Commuter SMS and Email Database:
An SMS and Email database must be created for TBS Commuters to register their contact information so they can get updated information on possible protest action, fare increases, etc. This information must be sent out in a timely fashion so commuters do not find themselves stranded at bus stops at 6am hoping that a bus will come. Commuters must be able to register for this database by SMS, online and at sales-points. Registration to the database must be effective within 24 hours, commuters must receive confirmation of registration and the service must be at no charge to commuters.
3. TBS website:
A TBS website must be created and must include up-to-date information on the service. This includes graphic representations of bus routes, timetables, contact centres, fares, sales-points, media statements, etc.
4. Sales Points, Card-based service with ATM top-up option:
Sales points: Additional sale points need to be created as not all commuters are able to reach the current sales points. The bus tickets needs to be made easily accessible to all commuters.
Card-based service: As with the A Re Yeng, a card-based service needs to be established so commuters can purchase these cards once-off and top-up with their chosen amount. Fares must be deducted from the card as per the route and usage. Commuters must be able to top-up from an ATM. CoT must find a way to accommodate pensioners, scholars and disabled people with this service. Unused funds on the card must either never expire or only expire at the beginning of every year. Commuters must be notified of pending expiry of funds.
5. TBS Contingency Plan:
With the frequent bus driver protest action many commuters are left stranded and vulnerable at bus stops unaware of disruptions. In addition to the social media accounts, SMS and email database official CoT vehicles must (according to bus routes) be deployed to inform commuters that there are no buses. These official vehicles (for safety reasons) must be clearly marked, officials must carry CoT authorised identification so they can identify themselves, notify commuters accordingly and provide assistance to school learners, the elderly and commuters in possibly high-risk areas or unsafe situations. These routes must be traveled according to the route times for the at least the first day of disruptions.
6. TBS Bus Maintenance:
TBS buses must frequently undergo maintenance (and cleaning) as some buses currently pose a health risk to commuters. There are buses with windows that do not open/close, no (adequate) air conditioning and no clearly marked instructions on what to do in case of an emergency. The safety of commuters and drivers needs to be considered.
7. Clear Complaint Channels and Resolutions:
With high TBS dissatisfaction the TBS complaint channels, timelines and responsible officials (with contact information) must be clearly outlined to commuters. This must be from the start of the complaint process to the end, with feedback to the commuters as the complaint moves through the appropriate/outlined channels and officials. An escalation process must be clearly outlined for commuters so they know what to do should they not get a resolution. This information must be made available to all commuters on the above requested TBS website, sales-points and on social media.
8. Clear and Transparent Communication on TBS issues from CoT:
The CoT must provide commuters with clear and transparent communique on all TBS issues. Commuters are always left in the dark about what is actually going on. Commuters deserve to know, good and bad.
We sincerely hope that you understand the gravity of these demands. We have been patient with the city for far too long. We can no longer afford to be patient and indulgent.
We sincerely hope you understand the gravity of these demands and our position.
Why is this important?
Reliable transportation is a basic need. It is a basic need that allows us to get to work, school, hospitals/clinics and stores to satisfy other basic needs. Without a reliable transportation system we are either unable to satisfy these needs or we struggle to do so.
We have left the City of Tshwane to its own devices where the Tshwane Bus Service is concerned and this has clearly been a fault on our part. They are clearly not willing to step up and fix the bus service themselves so we need to prompt them to do so. This is the most affordable option for us. If we could find alternative transportation then we would have done so a long time ago.
It is time we were heard and took the necessary steps to hold the City of Tshwane accountable for what they're subjecting us to.
This is a service you have been promised. Demanding that the service operate efficiently and that your needs as a paying customer be considered and catered to is not asking for much.
Make your voice heard.
Help ensure you get the service you're paying for!