It’s official: minibus taxis may be 100% full from today, but trains only 70%
- New regulations that allow buses minibus taxis to be 100% on local trips have now been published, and are in force as of Wednesday.
- Other than the usual sanitisation and mask wearing required of every business during lockdown, taxis and buses must keep windows 5cm open on both sides.
- Local trains, meanwhile, are limited to 70% of their capacity.
- Long distance taxis may load up to 70% of their maximum passenger count, but long-distance rail remains banned.
- The 100% loading rule also covers e-hailing services such as Uber, shuttle services, and scholar transport.
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As of Wednesday, buses and minibus taxis may load up to 100% of their passenger capacity.
Transport minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday published regulations that put into immediate force the loading rule change promised by President Cyril Ramaphosa 10 days previously.
Ramaphosa announced the change just days after taxi operators said they would flout regulations that limited the number of passengers they were allowed to carry, and dared the government to do something about it.
As Mbalula had previously announced, the concession comes with new rules – but only one major new rule: a requirement that windows must be left open at last 5cm on each side of the vehicle. Operators must also enforce mask wearing and sanitise their vehicles, like all other businesses, but unlike retailers and schools are not required to screen passengers or take their temperatures.
The new rule applies to all types of bus and minibus, e-hailing services such as Uber and Bolt, shuttle services, scholar transport services, and metered taxis.
Uber and Bolt previously said they would not allow fully-loaded cars.
See also: Like minibus taxis, Uber and Bolt will be allowed to load 100% capacity – but they’re not keen yet
The new 100%-capacity rules do not apply to local rail services, with are capped at 70% of capacity.
Long-distance rail transport of passengers remains banned, while buses and minibus taxis may carry up to 70% of their maximum passenger count.
Transport facility owners are directed to ensure a 1.5 metre distance between people – specifically including in queues of commuters – while gatherings of taxi drivers at taxi ranks are banned.
Drivers, including of taxis, are required to ensure "that the passengers are sanitised before entering a public transport vehicle and after leaving the vehicle".
(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)
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