Vincent Jansen, Sea Point
May 2010, the start of the MyCiTi Rapid Integration system roll-out in the Western Cape. Now, six years later, and the City still don’t have it right.
I refer to an incident of which I was a victim. I boarded a bus at a stop in the V&A Waterfront on Monday May 30. On entering, I tapped in and the driver gave me the thumbs-up to sit down, as everything was in order. At my destination, I tapped out again. All good. However, when I next used the service, I was charged a penalty of R22.50. While travelling, I sent the transport information centre an email from my mobile and continued past my stop directly to the next station to query this additional charge. Nobody there was able to explain because in their minds the commuters must have done something wrong to incur the penalty.
I then drew a mini statement from the terminal and saw that on entry at the Water-front the transaction type showed “transfer” instead of “check in”
On the same day of my email query, Wednesday June 1, I received an electronic appeal form on which to lodge my complaint for consideration. I then called the communications manager, Nadia King, who told me that this incident came about because of a faulty validator on that bus.
For me to submit my appeal form I had to firstly download the form, fill it in and then go to a print shop to fax it. Besides the effort, this transaction cost me R15 because the fax had to be sent to an 086 number (this is what I was told when I queried the charge). Hardly worth the effort to retrieve R22.50.
I know of an incident where this same scenario played out on the Camps Bay route, where each and every commuter who boarded that bus at a particular stop, was levied with that penalty.
Why does the public have to go through all this effort in order to rectify issues which is entirely the fault of the City? Can you imagine how much money the City is “inheriting” from the public who, firstly, are confused by what is happening (as the drivers are not able to offer an explanation) and, secondly, are not prepared to pursue the issue because of all the effort involved, let alone the fact that that may have been the last credit on their cards. By the time it happens (the penalty levied) some of us do not remember all the details of events as they happened. We doubt ourselves and accept that are may have been guilty and absorb the penalty.
In which era is the City going to become efficient in order to give its citizens the service they deserve – and pay for?