TRANSPORT: MyCiTi For Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain
Recent Western Cape Business News
Relief is in sight for weary commuters living in the Metro South East, which includes Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. The City of Cape Town is planning several MyCiTi bus services for these areas, including an express service between Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain and central Cape Town. These plans are outlined in the latest MyCiTi project report, of July 2011 which will be presented to the Transport, Roads and Stormwater Portfolio Committee today.
New MyCiTi services are also planned for transport corridors between the Metro South East and the southern, northern and West Coast suburbs, as there is high passenger demand but no rail service along these routes.
The express service is planned to start in December 2013 and will continue until the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa(PRASA) finishes its planned modernisation of the Khayelitsha-to-CBD service. At that stage, the express service will be re-evaluated.
The aim of the new services is to complement the rail service as well as to serve other corridors of high demand.
Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, recently drew up a report on transport objectives for the city, in which he noted that the city has a relatively extensive but poorly integrated public transport system, the backbone of which is rail.
The most recent records show 630 000 daily trips for the morning and evening peak periods and demand exceeds capacity on almost all lines, with the Metro South East the worst affected, he noted. The region needs an immediate six extra train sets to meet current demand. “It can be said that a public transport capacity crisis exists for those who live in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain,” he wrote.
The present investigation into the proposed express MyCiTi service between the Metro South East and the CBD will include public engagement and will be subjected to further detailed investigation.
The new service to the southern suburbs is proposed to run to Claremont or Wynberg; the route to the northern suburbs is proposed to travel to Bellville, along Symphony Way, and the route to the West Coast areas would be along Nigeria Way and Jan Smuts Drive.
Years of research has revealed a high demand along these routes. For example, transport data shows that the Khayelitsha-to-CBD rail service is running over capacity until it connects with the lines to the northern and southern suburbs, and that many residents of the southeast areas of the city are commuting to these areas on roundabout routes from home.
Rail will remain the backbone of public transport in Cape Town in the long term, as it is an extremely efficient way of transporting large numbers of people quickly. Herron says the City needs to work closely with PRASA and the National and Provincial Governments to help improve the rail service.
“Over the next five years the City will work towards delivering a safe, affordable, efficient and accessible transport system, which is essential to overcoming the spatial poverty trap. This is part of our vision of building an inclusive city where public transport connects communities and residents and visitors to work and recreational opportunities ” Herron said.
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