Going somewhere cross-country? Forget the airport – Intercape has a rather appealing alternative, as FOCUS has discovered.
New standards of safety and comfort for inter-city coach travellers are in the process of being set. Intercape, the largest privately owned coach company in Southern Africa, recently introduced its next generation Sleepliner coach – nicknamed the “G7” – to the South African market.
Designed and developed in conjunction with chassis designer Volvo and body constructor Marcopolo, Intercape invested great time and effort in building the new super luxury coach up to the high specifications it has come to be known for.
“We are proud of what we have achieved with the G7,” says Johann Ferreira, CEO of Intercape. “It represents a major step forward for us, at a time when South Africa is in desperate need of safer, more dependable and affordable public transportation.” The new G7 coach will be in operation on major inter-city routes throughout southern Africa, and will also be available for private coach hire.
The G7 boasts great passenger comfort, the pièce de résistance being Intercape’s unique 150° reclining seats with extra legroom, and cutting-edge features with a “future finish”. The interior of the G7 is equipped with new, broader doors, newly-designed stairs as well as LED lighting which uses movement sensors to turn the lights on and off automatically – all of which contributes to the ease of embarking and disembarking from the coach. Intercape is proud of the fact that the G7 is the first luxury double-deck coach that is wheelchair friendly. The G7 also has attractive new lighting features as well as new air-conditioning inputs, while the innovative sky window for passengers promises a full view of the sky throughout the journey. A spacious and comfortable toilet facility is also provided.
Exterior changes include stylish design lines, and new head and tail lights with LED clusters for lights and clearance. In addition, big new curved windscreens offer front passengers and the driver a broader and clearer view of the road, allowing a safer and more scenic journey.
The G7 and the rest of Intercape’s fleet of more than 100 coaches are supported by seven technical Intercape depots in South Africa. The Pretoria, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth depots are equipped with roadworthiness testing stations to ensure that all coaches comply with or exceed required safety standards.
Western Cape Minister of Transport Robin Carlisle, speaking at the G7’s launch, emphasised his department’s objective of halving road fatalities in the Western Cape by 2014, saying that safe and responsible coach operators play an important role towards achieving this objective. Carlisle also announced his intention to implement a grading system for coach operators, whereby they will be classified based on their level of safety in terms of standards, procedures, and infrastructure.
Intercape has been a leader in the inter-city transport industry for the past 35 years, and its scheduled routes currently span seven southern African countries. Intercape was the first South African company to operate internal routes in other African countries such as Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique. The introduction of the G7 is but another history-making milestone for the company.
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