Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) says it will not increase its bus fares in June.

The bus service says it will, despite the expected fuel price increase expected in June, shield its clients from rising transport costs.

It is expected that fuel and diesel prices may increase by more than R3 per litre on the first Wednesday of next month, if the national Government does not intervene, which would lead to added pressures on the already-tight budgets of consumers.

GABS spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer says price hikes place severe pressure on commuters.

She says fare increases would never be implemented unless it is completely unavoidable.

Get the latest Golden Arrow Bus Service updates here.

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Police shot and killed a man who had boarded a Golden Arrow bus with two accomplices and robbed passengers. The incident took place on Monday 07 February.

The bus was at the corner of Eisleben and Sheffield Roads in Phillipi East when residents alerted police to the robbery in progress. The spokesperson for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Grace Langa confirmed that they are investigating the incident. She said: “As the passengers disembarked from the bus, three unknown males entered the bus and one suspect pointed a firearm at the bus driver and the other two suspects robbed the passengers of the cellphones and handbags.” She added that members of the public alerted SAPS members patrolling in the area to the robbery in progress. Langa said: “All three suspects got out of the bus when they saw the SAPS members. One suspect pointed a firearm towards the SAPS members. Police shot at him and he died on the crime scene, the other two suspects got away.”

While some of the passenger’s belongings were recovered, two of the suspects escaped.

IPID is also investigating the actions of the SAPS following the robbery and shooting.

In April 2021, Golden Arrow confirmed that it was installing panic buttons and CCTV camera’s on its buses as a measure to prevent and respond to acts of criminality.

Golden Arrow has announced that its bus fares will increase by 7 percent from 27 December. This is an annual adjustment in bus fares that the company says is unavoidable due to increased costs for diesel and employee wages.

In a statement, the company said: “Unfortunately, diesel, the Company’s second largest expense after wages, has increased by an unprecedented 45% between December 2020 and December 2021. This alone has made an increase unavoidable. Wages, spare parts, and other input costs have also increased.”

Passengers can postpone paying the increased fares until 25 January 2022 in the case of 10-ride multi-journey products (which are valid for 30 days) bought on 26 December 2021 and until 25 March 2022 in the case of 48-ride multi-journey products (valid for 90 days) bought on the same date.

The company said: “In order to shield our passengers from the full effect of these increases, Golden Arrow has continued to focus on holistic and innovative cost saving measures across our operations. In the coming year, we will strive to identify further efficiencies. Golden Arrow understands the difficult economic climate in which South Africans find themselves and we empathise with our passengers who will be affected by the increase.”

All new fares can be obtained from the Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63.

More than 200 Golden Arrow Bus Service employees received their Covid-19 vaccination at the company’s new pop-up vaccination site in Arrowgate.

Most employees got their second dose of the vaccine, while many others had the opportunity to get their first injection.

GABS-spokesperson, Bronwyn Dyke-Beyer says the site was launched on Monday, in collaboration between the bus company and the provincial departments of Health and Transport.

Bronwyn Dyke-Beyer says the site allows employees easier access to the vaccine.

Read more on the initiative here.

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