The Golden Arrow Bus Service said on Friday it would increase passenger fares from December 28 to try and mitigate the effects of significantly higher operational cost throughout the year.
In a statement Golden Arrow general manager Derrick Meyer said as per the company’s interim operating contract with the provincial government, this year’s calculated permissible increase amounted to 16.5 percent.
However, the bus company had taken into consideration the current state of the economy – partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and the difficult conditions for passengers and would therefore limit the increase to four percent, he added.
“The pandemic has brought with it a number of unbudgeted cost items which include personal protective equipment sanitising products and dedicated Covid-19 marshalls,” Meyer said.
“In a bid to offset these costs, Golden Arrow strengthened its robust and innovative cost saving measures across our operations, but these have unfortunately not been enough to avoid the fare increase.”
He said there would be no increases for pensioners.
Golden Arrow bus gold cards – on which passengers can load their weekly and monthly trip fares – will now cost R35.
“Passengers can postpone paying the increased fares until January 26, 2021, in the case of 10-ride multi-journey products (which are valid for 30 days) bought on December 27, 2020, and until March 27, 2021, in the case of monthly multi-journey products (valid for 90 days) bought on the same date,” Meyer said.
He advised passengers to purchase gold cards and load weekly or monthly fares instead of paying cash, as this would allow them to access a 45 percent discount.