TRANSPORT: World Class System for City Transport
Recent Western Cape Business News
THE first phase of a world-class integrated rapid transit (IRT) system for Cape Town will be ready by March 2010, according to the City’s transport authorities. An IRT system offers a way of ensuring that all modes of public transport work together and have priority over private transport. A major component of this is a bus rapid transit (BRT) system to provide a regular, fast, frequent and reliable public transport service.
The system will consist of two parts – trunk routes and feeder routes. The trunk routes will have separate, dedicated bus ways for special 18-metre articulated vehicles. Enclosed, weatherproof bus stations will be placed in the centre of the road to ensure that buses can move quickly past other traffic. The feeder services, consisting of smaller 8m and 12m vehicles, will carry passengers to the trunk routes. The service will run for longer hours than the City’s current public transport services.
The intention is to establish an IRT network across the City in the next 10 to 12 years, to be completed in four phases.
The first phase, with a budget of R1.3 billion, to be completed by 2010, will provide a link from the airport to the city centre and from there to Green Point, Sea Point and Hout Bay, as well as in and around the City bowl suburbs. A trunk route will service the West Coast along Blaauwberg Road and Potsdam Road to Du Noon. Feeder services will serve Bloubergstrand, Atlantis and Mamre as well as Table View, Parklands, and Montague Gardens via Century City to Richwood.
The next four phases will extend to the northern and southern suburbs, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Delft, Blue Downs and Stellenbosch. The City will build the bus ways and specify service levels, the cost of fares and vehicle types.
Private operators will provide operations and services, and the City is currently in talks with representatives of the bus and minibus taxi operators to get them involved in the new system.
The system is being financed through support from national government and the City of Cape Town and much of the funding is being made available to meet the City’s requirements for hosting the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
Eddie Chinnappen, the City’s executive director for transport, is enthusiastic about the project.
“The IRT system will offer faster, safer, more comfortable and accessible public transport,” he said. “Vehicles will be the low-emission kind, while fares will remain affordable and a smart card system will allow for quick and easy boarding. Cape Town will finally have a world class public transport system,” he says.
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