Public Transport

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Public Transport

Public Transport Options

Cape Town boasts a reasonably well-developed public transport network; however, as a visitor, your choices may be somewhat constrained, contingent on both the safety and location of your destination and the time of day you intend to travel.
  • No Underground System: It’s important to note that Cape Town does not have an underground subway system.
  • Train System: While there is a functioning rail system, we do not recommend relying on it due to its inconsistency and safety concerns.
  • Varied Safety and Convenience: Public transport can be safe and convenient in specific areas but less so in others.

Guidance and Recommendations

  • Our role is to provide you with recommendations and advice regarding your transport options tailored to your specific circumstances.
  • We will guide you on the most suitable options for your daily commute to your internship site, including instructions on how to utilize public transport when it is a viable choice.
  • The most popular and viable public transport options for VACorps program participants are My-Citi-busses and Mini Bus taxis.

My-Citi Busses

The is a cheap and somewhat convenient way to get around the city. These modern buses are a good option  for transport to the City Center and Atlantic Seaboard.  The service extends to:
  • Shopping destinations such as the Waterfront, Canal Walk, Gardens Shopping Centre
  • The Atlantic Seaboard (Hout Bay, Camps Bay, Clifton, Sea Point)
  • Cape Town Central Business District
  • Blouberg, Milnerton, Tableview and Big Bay and other areas north of the city
  • Cape Town International Airport
Unfortunately, the MyCiti Bus Network does not go to the Wine Farms or Southern Suburbs. Benefits of this mode of transport:
  • This option is safe, efficient, reliable and clean
  • It is very tourist friendly
  • There is free Wifi onboard the bus
  • There is a schedule which is reliable 90% of the time
  • There are cameras at the stations and on the bus
  • They pass most of the tourist sites, museums, and famous restaurants within Cape Town
Drawbacks of using this mode of transport
  • The main issue with the MyCiti Network is that it does not cover any of the Southern Suburbs (Rondebosch, Newlands, Claremont, Kenilworth, Plumstead, Muizenberg and beyond), nor does extend out anywhere near the Winelands.
  • There is no station in Observatory itself. The closest station in Spencer Station in Salt River, which is a 10-15 minute walk from Observatory. We recommend using an Uber to the Salt River Station from program housing.
  • Although the bus and station themselves are relatively safe, if you are walking to the stations you will still have to be vigilant, alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • We do not recommend using the MyCiti busses at night.

Mini Bus Taxi’s

Mini-Bus Taxis offer an affordable mode of transportation, with short trips costing as little as R10 (approximately 50 US cents). However, if you are not accustomed to using them, they can be a bit overwhelming and are not for the faint-hearted. Despite the challenges, their network is extensive and they provide an immersive and exciting way to navigate the city while connecting with the local community. Using Mini-Bus Taxis Embarking on this unique Cape Town transportation adventure comes with its own set of guidelines:
  • There are no fixed pick-up and drop-off points. Taxis can be hailed anywhere, ensuring convenience.
  • Each taxi typically has a fare collector and has displaying signage on the dashboard, indicating the route. Drivers often honk to signal available space.
  • Signal the taxi by raising your hand; they are willing to stop wherever you stand.
  • Payment is exclusively in cash. Ensure you carry adequate change and exact fare, as drivers might not have the means to provide change.
  • When you approach your destination, assertively inform the driver of your impending exit. The driver will locate a suitable stopping point, often aided by a recognizable landmark.
Drawbacks of Mini-Bus Taxis It’s essential to acknowledge some of the limitations associated with Mini-Bus Taxis:
  • Drivers can occasionally display reckless driving behavior, which might make some passengers uncomfortable.
  • Frequent stops along the route may extend your journey’s duration.
  • Drivers may wait until the taxi is full, leading to occasional waiting times for other passengers to join before your journey begins.
  • Mini-Bus Taxis can become quite crowded, particularly during peak hours, making them less suitable for those with claustrophobia.
  • As is the case with all forms of public transport in South Africa, passengers need to remain vigilant, alert, and self-assured throughout their journey.
Essential Safety Tips for Mini-Bus Taxis It’s important to take the following safety precautions into account:
  • Mini-Bus Taxis are not for the faint-hearted; passengers need to be confident and alert.
  • Avoid using Mini-Bus Taxis during nighttime hours.
  • If you are new to this mode of transportation, consider traveling with a VACorps Staff member or someone experienced with these taxis for your first ride, as going alone can be daunting.
  • Prior to boarding, ensure you know your exact drop-off point and double-check with the driver, fare collector, or fellow passengers to confirm you are on the right taxi for your intended destination.
  • Traveling with companions is generally a safer choice.
  • Keep your personal belongings close and well-secured, with your purse and bags zipped and placed on your lap to prevent theft or loss.