Getting to and from the aiport
Make use of the shared airport shuttle, take the new MyCiTi Airport Service or take one of the metered taxis which are operating from the Transport Plaza, adjacent to the bus station. Only Touchdown taxis are authorised to pick up all non-pre-booked passengers from the airport but any metered taxi can be used for the return trip to the airport. Some accommodation establishments have a free pick-up service, some others charge you a certain fee. A new public transport shuttle service will start operating from 29 May 2010 between the transport plaza in front of the new Central Terminal Building and the new Civic Centre bus station in Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town.
MyCiTi bus transport system
Cape Town's new MyCiTi bus transport system uses a fleet of modern, comfortable buses moving in their own dedicated lanes on trunk routes, with special stations, often in the middle of the roads. Feeder routes run through suburbs and industrial areas with smaller buses to bring passengers to the main trunk routes.
The following, interconnecting MyCiTi services are currently operating:
Minibus taxis are probably the most convenient and most used public transport in South Africa. Dominant characteristics are loud music (everything from hiphop to eurodance), big stickers on their cars like “I am the fastest” and too many passengers already in the bus when you try to get in. But they are cheap and bring you almost everywhere you want to go to.
Minibuses in Cape Town are covering the whole city. You stop them by hailing or by pointing your index finger into the air. But keep in mind - the use of the taxi system for anything other than a short drive requires an expert knowledge of the unwritten lore of hand signs indicating which taxi is travelling where, and an understanding of the various routes and how they intersect.
Rates: taking the minibus is the cheapest way of travelling around the Mother City.
Problems: most of the minibus drivers tend to feel like Michael Schumacher as soon as they are in their car. They driving style can be quite dangerous…
Especially when the minibuses are very crowded, pickpockets can be around. So always mind your stuff and don't show your jewelleries around…
Contacts: they are loads of different companies in Cape Town – just pick the most reliable looking minibus and you are fine…
Metropolitan Bus Service
The Metropolitan Bus Service is covering the whole city area of Cape Town.The bus service is operating from the Grand Parade Station (at the main train station on Strand Street).
The buses are stopping at special signs along their main routes. The metropolitan bus service is not running on a timetable.
Rates: N/A not much, though!
Problems: Let's say it like this – there are not too many buses in Cape Town … and they are not going everywhere…
Contact: Information office (021) 461 4365
Golden Arrow is the other conventional bus operator in Cape Town. They run on a time table and are covering the metropolitan Cape Peninsula and Cape Flats area.
Rates: N/A not much, though!
Problems: like the Metropolitan Bus Service – they seem not to have enough buses to cover the whole city in a way the traveller might be used to.
Contact: You can check the timetable on their website. Or phone them under (021) 937 8800.
Rikkis Taxis are probably the most popular, versatile and economic door-to-door taxi service in Cape Town, South Africa. Their bright vibrant vehicles cover all the most popular destinations in Cape Town and surrounds on a continual basis throughout the day! They have low prices and and you can even book the whole taxi. It's sort of mixture of a minibus taxi and a normal one.
Rates: quite cheap for their service, but definitely more expensive than a minibus taxi.
Problems: hm, let me think.... none!
Contact: See their website at www.rikkis.co.za. Phone them under 0861 745 547 (24/7) or email them bookings[@]rikkis.co.za (weekdays between 9am- 5pm)
Metered Taxis are the most expensive, but also the safest way of travelling through Cape Town. Especially at night taking a taxi is the best decision to make. Always have a look that the drivers name and identification is clearly on display.
You can't hail a taxi in the streets – they have taxi ranks (like on Longstreet, at Greenmarket Square, Train Station, Waterfront etc.) or you phone them.
Rates: most expensive public transport in Cape Town – but still quite reasonable
Problems: none – just check if it's a real/official metered taxi or not. All taxis are regulated by the City of Cape Town.
Contact: ask at your hostel for a number or, when you are in a pub/bar/restaurant, ask the staff there – they call the taxi for you.
Cape Town Metro Rail
The Cape Town Metro Rail is covering the whole metropolitan area of Cape Town and its surrounding areas. It's a cheap and easy way of travelling through the Cape Town area. They have 1 st class – 3 rd class carriages – all of them can be safe, but don't have to be. It's like everywhere. The 1 st class is the most expensive and safest class, the 3rd class is the opposite…
Rates: depending on the class you choose more or less expensive… still cheap prices.
Problems: The trains can get quite crowded in the rush-hour and can become a little unsafe during this time… 1 st class is probably the safest option. Don't take the trains at night.
Contact: See Metro Rail's website for timetables. Or just phone them under 0800 65 64 63 (tollfree number)