Cape Town's Transport Systems

Cape Town's Transport Systems

Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most scenic and beautiful cities in the world. It overflows with natural beauty, a few examples being Table Mountain, the stunning coasts and the vast Winelands.

Cape Town's beauty goes beyond nature. You will also fall in love with the historical architecture that tells tales of the Dutch, Malay and Victorian influences.
Cape Town's culture is nothing short of eclectic. African, Malay, English and European heritages paint diverse suburbs, faces, accents and cuisine.

There is so much to do and see in Cape Town and luckily there are transport systems in place that will help you in your exploration of the Mother City. Although they may not all be as efficient as the transport systems in the USA or Europe, they will get you from A-Z, often leaving you with a tale to tell and an everlasting memory!


MyCiTi Bus


Cape Town's transport systems, MyCiTi Bus


The MyCiTi buses provide the public with safe, efficient and modern services that runs on a frequent schedule to various routes around Cape Town. MyCiTi buses meet strict Euro 5 emissions standards to minimise the impact on the environment.

Landmarks, tourist destinations as well as beaches and suburbs are included in the routes. All you need is your own card, which costs a once-off fee of R35, which is available from MyCiTi stations and kiosks.


Baz Bus


Cape Town Transport Systems, Baz Bus


Baz Bus is a unique hop-on hop-off, door-to-door bus service between the backpacking hostels around South Africa. The buses are semi-luxury, all with on-board TV & videos, and trailers capable of carrying surfboards and bicycles.

Buy one ticket to your final destination and hop on and off as often as you like along the route. Baz Bus runs in each direction between Cape Town and Johannesburg/Pretoria with stops along the coast.

While in Cape Town, make sure to book a Cape Peninsula Day Tour which is a full day excursion. Explore Hout Bay and go on a boat cruise to Duiker Island. Enjoy refreshments while marveling the views along Chapmans Peak Drive. Get off at Boulders Beach and view the colony of African Penguins up close while exploring the rock pools, before ending off with a picnic and stroll at Cape Point.


Golden Arrow Bus


Cape Town Transport Systems, Golden Arrow Bus


Golden Arrow has been a major source of transport for Capetonians since 1861. They operate 1046 buses during peak hours covering a vast 1300 routes. Commuters can either find buses at designated bus stops or at the major station, which is on Strand Street in the city centre. Regular commuters can purchase weekly or monthly clip-cards instead of purchasing single trips. 




Cape Town Transport Systems, Metrorail


Metrorail is one of the most cost-effective ways to travel to and from the Cape Town city centre. Fares are dependent on kilometres and seating choice (MetroPlus [first class] or Metro [3rd class]), and regular commuters can buy a weekly or a monthly ticket in order to save costs. Prices range from under R10 to about R20 for a single trip.

There are different lines for different geographical areas. The most scenic line which many tourists favour is the Southern line that runs along False Bay. 

Word of caution: Do not take any valuables on the train with you and try to travel in groups. Additionally, the trains are notorious for running behind on schedule and have been nicknamed 'Metrofail'.


Metered taxis / cabs


Cape Town transport systems, metered cabs


The various metered cabs in Cape Town are possibly the most convenient form of transport as they will take you directly to your destination. This makes them the most costly but they do come in handy when there is no taxi/bus/train in sight, or if commuters need to get to somewhere that isn’t a common public transport route.

Costs differ from cab company to cab company, but generally the base fee is around R10 per kilometre.

​Examples of meter cabs are Excite, Rikkis and Uber.

Word of caution: It's important that you have an idea of the kilometres of your route so that you don’t overpay.


Minibus Taxis


Cape Town transport system, minibus taxi


Cape Town's minibus taxis are a controversial form of transport but are somewhat efficient and affordable. They are notorious for their own understanding of the rules of the road and for the loud music that is often blasted from their sound systems.

The 14-16 seat taxis are in abundance and can be found on major main roads, the Cape Town train station (upstairs) and taxi ranks dispersed in numerous suburbs and townships. Fares start from approximately R5 and the range is determined according to set routes.

Word of caution: If you're a driver on the road, don't expect the taxis to follow the same rules as you do. If you're a commuter on a taxi, don't take any valuables with you. Avoid using the minibus taxis at night.


City Sightseeing Bus


City Sightseein Bus, Cape Town Transport systems


The open-top double-decker buses of City Sightseeing are one of the best ways to take in the highlights of Cape Town. You have the option of sitting in the open-top upstairs section or in the bottom closed section.

There are 2 routes covering more than 20 of Cape Town’s most iconic attractions and destinations. The Red Route includes the Two Oceans Aquarium, V&A Waterfront, The South African Museum, Table Mountain Cable Way and more. The Blue Route includes Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Camps Bay, Sea Point and the Constantia Wine Route and more.

Both routes are hop-on hop-off. The buses depart from outside the Two Oceans Aquarium every 15 minutes, seven days a week, starting from 09h00, and you can use your ticket to jump off at any of the stops near the attraction you wish to visit, and get back on the next bus after you are done.

Buses are equipped for wheelchairs and the tour commentary is available in 16 languages. There is also a ​special Kids Club commentary for the junior passengers.


Riverlodge Backpackers has a backpacking Travel Desk where one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be able to assist you with planning every aspect of your trip in Cape Town, including public transport or renting your own vehicle. We also have our own shuttle which our guests can make use of at a fee.


Written by Saskia Carelse
(All pictures sourced from Google Images)


If you enjoyed this article and want to read more about the exciting things we get up to in Cape Town, follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page. If you'd love to have your own Cape Town experience, contact us at Riverlodge Backpackers to book accommodation, or book online.

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