Johannesburg Metrobus, which ferries thousands of passengers on daily basis and operates in over 200 routes within the City of Johannesburg, has employed an additional 83 bus drivers and 26 artisans including auto-electricians and mechanics as part of its turnaround plan.
These new employees have been appointed by Metrobus to deal with the bus drivers and technicians’ shortages and are expected to commence on 01 November and 01 December 2017.
The new recruits will undergo driver training for the next four weeks to enable them to operate buses and routes effectively. The new drivers will assist Metrobus’ Operations department to improve its turnaround times and bus operating frequencies.
“We are confident that the recruitment of the new bus drivers and mechanics will assist in improving the overall Metrobus customer service and experience. Metrobus wants to offer a high-quality and customer-oriented service that delivers a reliable, efficient, comfortable and low-cost urban mobility service,” said Cllr Nonhlanhla Helen Makhuba, the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Transport in the City of Johannesburg.
Metrobus currently has 436 buses and over 400 drivers to meet commuter demand. As part of the Turnaround Plan, Metrobus will procure additional buses to replace its aged buses over time. It has already purchased 175 new buses as part of this process.
The company is also in the process of increasing the number of ticketing outlets across the City to make buying of tickets easily accessible to all passengers.
“We are also looking at selling our tickets in other places such as supermarkets and through auto-teller machines (ATMs) including online platforms,” explained Cllr Makhuba.
The entity is also exploring a new cashless fare collection system. Metrobus is currently scanning the market to find a suitable system tailor made for its needs.
“Metrobus is providing continuous training for all its bus operators to enhance customer service, etiquette and to meet road safety standards. The professional driver training and development programme has resulted in reduction of the accidents over the past 12 months”, said Yolisa Kani, the Chairperson of the Metrobus’ Board of Directors.
The company is also working towards reducing the number of breakdowns of buses and to ensure that its buses are in a good condition and are punctual.
“We conduct Customer Satisfaction Surveys annually to get commuters’ inputs on the company’s level of service, including areas that need improvement”, said Kani.
“All these interventions are responding to the customer satisfaction surveys conducted by Metrobus. We are committed to providing a quality service to all our commuters as well accommodating diversity and disability,” explained Kani.