British bus manufacturer Optare celebrated its largest export order when the City of Cape Town chose Solo buses for use on its MyCiTi Bus Rapid Transit system. Optare shipped 200 buses for assembly and finishing in South Africa.
When the first Solos entered service, Optare asked Automotive PR to cover the event.
Automotive PR South Africa’s Mick Kerford recorded the Solo Optares on the service which connects northern suburbs with Table View Station for the trunk route into the City. The bus travels beside the picturesque Blaauwberg beach with Table Bay in the background.
Off-peak, there’s only one bus every 20 minutes and they sail past the beachfront stop if no-one hails them. “We had to devise a ruse,” laughs Mick. “Our photographer, Frank Vennard, stood in position on a dune opposite. I pretended to be an intending passenger to stop the bus and keep the driver chatting while Frank got the shot. We repeated the exercise until Frank was satisfied he had the shot in the can. By sunset, the word was out that there’s a weirdo who hails buses and then declines to board.”
Optare were so delighted with the photograph that they used it on the cover of their Annual Report.