WE, the ratepayers and we, the taxpayers, have contributed millions towards a transport system doomed before it started. Between bad planning, non-existent budget controls and chaotic traffic signals, it finally spluttered into life halfway through the World Cup in 2010, on a very limited basis to the chosen few who could work out where to find a bus stop and more importantly where the bus was heading.
During the World Cup it was found that our imported buses were a bit too big for the specially prepared lanes provided (Did nobody check this out beforehand?) and that we would have to modify the roads once more.
At the same time the taxi industry was fighting tooth and nail with the metro over ownership of the system demanding that it be given to them at no cost, which is laughable considering they pay no income tax nor are they registered VAT vendors.
Another year of roadworks later and we have a system ready to work. It was officially opened in December last year with dignitaries hailing it as the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Then it all died again ...
Our metro in its wisdom applied to become a host city for the Afcon, which once again cost us, the ratepayers, millions. It was going to bring thousands of travelling fans to the city thus boosting the city coffers.
The sad reality is that perhaps a combined total of 50000 people may have attended all six matches to date.
Meanwhile, amid a further grand opening in time for the Afcon the IPTS was up and running once more, but nobody knew from where to where or even when! This lasted two days before the fighting started again between the roleplayers, and our esteemed mayor and deputy mayor were threatened with death unless the system was shut down immediately, which it was and to date still is not in operation.
Plus the fact that the staff at Algoa Bus decide that now is the time to embark on an illegal strike to confuse our handful of African visitors even more.
The idea of an IPTS system is fantastic if it is run efficiently, and the public at large have access to running times and routes.
It has been mentioned in the press that the system has been under- utilised when it has been operational but how can you expect the public to support and use a IPTS that starts and stops on a whim. No one has bothered to market the product properly and until this happens the majority of potential passengers will continue commuting in the manner they know and trust.
In summary the metro has spent billions of our and treasury money on a system that is still not working and accessible to its citizens. In any other country heads would be rolling!!
COLIN MURRAY, Port Elizabeth