Golden Arrow Bus Services

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Golden Arrow Bus Services
Golden Arrow Bus Services Logo.jpg
ParentHosken Consolidated Investments Limited
Headquarters103 Bofors Circle, Epping, Cape Town, South Africa[1]
Service areaCape Town, South Africa
Service typePublic transport bus service
Daily ridership220,000[2]
Chief executiveFrancois Meyer (CEO)[3]
A modern Golden Arrow bus.
A Golden Arrow bus with livery celebrating a partnership with bus manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus.
Golden Arrow bus showing the company's old livery.

Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) is the major public transport bus service operator for Cape Town, South Africa, providing commuter bus services throughout a large part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan area.[2]

Founded in 1861, and owned by South African holding company Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited,[3] the company operates a fleet of over 1000 buses on 1300 routes, with a daily ridership of around 220,000 people.[2]


On 9 July 1861, an Act was passed that allowed for a company to be formed for the purpose of providing horse-drawn tram services between Sea Point and Cape Town. The founding company in the GABS dynasty was the Cape Town & Green Point Tramway Company, which began operating on the 1 April 1863.[4]

Major technological innovations that shaped the fledgling industry subsequent to this were the replacement of horse-drawn trams with electric trams in 1894; the introduction of fuel powered motor buses in 1911 and trackless electric trams in 1934. During this period of innovation, mergers and acquisitions amongst competitors occurred.

In 1957, Golden Arrow Bus Services, which at the time had 85 buses and 400 employees, completed a take-over of the larger, listed Cape Tramways Limited, which had 500 buses and 2000 employees.

In 1982, the company built its Arrowgate depot in the suburb of Montana, in Cape Town. At the time it was the largest and most modern depot in Southern Africa. GABS has also designed and built depot facilities in Woodstock, Philippi, Simon’s Town and Atlantis.[4]

In 2004, South African holding company Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited acquired Golden Arrow Bus Services.[5]

In 2011, Golden Arrow Bus Services took ownership of its 500th bus produced by German commercial vehicle manufacturer MAN Truck & Bus AG. MAN buses account for a large portion of GABS' fleet.[6]

In 2021 Golden Arrow announced that they had tested 3 electric busses and would put them in operation. This made Cape Town and Golden Arrow the first to implement electric busses in Africa.

Skills development[edit]

Golden Arrow Bus Services' Learning and Assessment Centre is accredited with the Transport Education and Training Authority (TETA) for all its professional driver training, and is also accredited with MerSETA. The Company utilizes a number of accredited service providers for management and leadership programs. Eligible employees are also able to access further study benefits from the company.[7]

GABS facilitates the provision of the following accredited programs:

  • Professional Driver Skills Program
  • National Certificate in Professional Driving
  • Automotive Repair and Retain Commercial Learnership
  • Automotive Workshop Assistant
  • Automotive Maintenance Assistant[7]

Corporate social responsibility[edit]

Via the donation of 50% of GABS' shares as a capital base, the Golden Arrow Foundation (GAF) was founded in 1993, as a way to give back to the communities served by Golden Arrow’s scheduled bus services.

Following the acquisition of Golden Arrow Bus Services by Hosken Consolidated Investments, the Golden Arrow Foundation was incorporated into the HCI Foundation. Since then, the Foundation has continued to provide financial support to a number of community initiatives across a wide-spectrum, including education and early childhood development, health and welfare, and social development.

Golden Arrow’s Corporate Social Investment efforts were recognised by the South African Department of Social Development and the National CSI Registrar as being a Level 3 Gold Contributor.


  1. ^ "Contact us". Golden Arrow Bus Services. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Home". Golden Arrow Bus Services. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  3. ^ a b "Company Structure". Golden Arrow Bus Services. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  4. ^ a b "The Golden Arrow History". Golden Arrow Bus Services. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  5. ^ "Bus division gives HCI earnings surprise lift". Business Day. 2014-11-21. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  6. ^ "Bus Fleet Recapitalisation". Golden Arrow Bus Services. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  7. ^ a b "Skills Development". Golden Arrow Bus Services. Retrieved 2016-08-03.

External links[edit]