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Disabled Capetonians assured of fleet improvements for Dial-a-Ride service

20 December 2019 - 12:44 By timeslive
Cape Town offers a Dial-a-Ride service for disabled commuters.
Cape Town offers a Dial-a-Ride service for disabled commuters.
Image: Myciti.org.za

The City of Cape Town's unique Dial-a-Ride facility for registered disabled commuters will be operating with improved efficiency soon, the metro says.

A new contract has been signed with HG Travelling Services, the current operator, to provide the service for at least another nine months, until the end of September 2020.

The city conceded the service “has been experiencing capacity constraints over the past few months due to a reduction in the number of vehicles, and a limited budget.”

“We have managed to secure a bigger budget for the service, meaning we now have more money available to replace and repair vehicles that are needed to provide the Dial-a-Ride service,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase.

Dial-a-Ride, partly funded by the Western Cape provincial government and the city, is a service for commuters with special needs who cannot make use of conventional public transport.

About 3,000 commuters are registered on the database and eligible to use the service — 350 of which use the service regularly, and up to 2,270 on an ad hoc basis.

Most of the vehicles can accommodate five commuters in wheelchairs and three seated passengers with other needs. Guide dogs are allowed, as well as registered carers.

The city said it is working with the operator to restore the full fleet as soon as possible.

“Some of the vehicles may be ready within days, but in some cases we will have to wait for parts coming from overseas. We now have the funds and we are committed to having a full fleet of 22 vehicles operational as soon as we can,” said Purchase.

Dial-a-Ride fares range from R9 for a 0-5km trip to R18.50 for 60km+.