When I reacted with shock, confusion and a bit of disappointment to the way the MyCiti Bus security guard treated me on a question to open a gate so that I can enter the station with my (allowed) bicycle, it was not in response to my own views (or fears) of security personnel.
I have been a loyal user of the new integrated public transport in Cape Town for a variety of reasons, including for personal budget reasons. I cannot afford the R16 per hour kerbside parking. I cannot afford the R1000 per month for parking at my office. And, most of all, I cannot afford to fill my petrol tank every week anymore. But beyond budget, I also believe in better ways of interacting with my city, cutting back my carbon sins and keeping my urban traces tiny for the sake of future folk.
In return, I have shed some baby fat around the waist from cycling, and I have discovered a world of wonderful surprises as I discover new spots in the streets of the city we all seem to love equally.My reaction to the treatment by a security guard that did not treat me with balance and fairness from a verbal attack by a fellow, waiting passenger was in reaction to the fact that we allow this abuse far too often – and then worry about the impact far too late.I am also from the school that believes the promise of what a brand (such as MyCiti) makes in its advertising and other public forms comes to the test when interacting with the people that earn their wages from the brand itself.
“Because I want things to be better, I have just reported a @MyCitiBus security guard for intimidation” was the Tweet I used to raise my public opinion. And I did. But this was in the first week of October, and have to date only received a case number for my effort.
I did not report the incident to get discounts, special treatments or a photo of myself in the local rag. I did it because I have begged for clarity from the brand of MyCitiBus on how they plan to keep their staff eager and aligned with the promise the service is making.
While you roll out more lanes, buses and fancy turnstiles, please do not forget that those were also the cornerstones of the once revered railways. And then consider how we feel about them today.