Transporting 16 070 passengers per weekday, the GO GEORGE bus service has become part of the daily routine for a large part of the George community who can now travel freely from different parts of town to attend school, go to work or medical facilities, do their shopping, or visit relatives and friends.
Over the past year, from September 2021 until August 2022, GO GEORGE buses have travelled 5 692 713 kilometres, operated 357 537 bus trips, and conveyed 4 580 776 passengers.
Having started out with 10 buses in December 2014, the GO GEORGE fleet currently consists of 54 standard buses, 33 midibuses and 35 minibuses. Additional buses will be available for the Thembalethu service.
The road network coverage on the current 26 routes is 142 kilometres, with the expansion to Thembalethu adding another 30 kilometres. This is the total length of the roads travelled on by GO GEORGE buses. Road upgrades are continuously being done on these roads as funding allows. This includes roads that are currently being used to provide the public transport service as well as roads that will be needed in future for the service.
Passenger satisfaction counts
An annual, independent survey is conducted among users of the bus service to determine the overall socio-economic impact of GO GEORGE in three main areas: macro-economic, transport economic, and socio-economic impact.
The latest results have confirmed that most passengers are pleased with the GO GEORGE service and the opportunities it provides in terms of accessibility and mobility. They appreciate the flexibility of the system, and say it is safer and more secure and affordable than their means of transport before the implementation of the GO GEORGE service
User satisfaction scores have improved significantly from the previous year, confirming the continued commitment from GO GEORGE to provide a public transport service of high quality, resulting in a positive passenger experience.
Accessibility scores high
With accessibility such a high priority for GO GEORGE, it was gratifying to learn that all passengers with disabilities and 98% of passengers with other special needs find GO GEORGE very accessible, both at bus-stops and on board the buses, addressing their travel requirements. It was interesting to note that 40% of interviewees indicated that they have special needs when travelling. This includes people who are elderly, pregnant, travelling with small children or experience some form of mobility challenge.
Passengers are also satisfied with the proximity to bus stops, both from their home and destination. Considering that less than 30% of George residents have access to a private car, GO GEORGE is dedicated to ensuring that residents have access to the transport system.
By using GO GEORGE, passengers have noted that they have more money available for other needs. The fact that passengers do not pay again to transfer between buses within one hour from starting their journey, contributes to a saving on their total travel expense, and reducing their monthly travel expenses.
“This is the kind of feedback we want to hear,” commented James Robb, Acting Public Transport Oversight Official of the George Municipality. “The prioritisation of public transport investment is no longer a nice to have; it is an absolute necessity. Government subsidises public transport – GO GEORGE trips included – so that nobody should have to turn away a job opportunity because they cannot afford to travel to work.”