TRANSPORT: Cape Town Targets Control Of Metrorail
Recent Western Cape Business News
The City of Cape Town has welcomed the announcement that Transport Minister S’bu Ndebele intends transferring control over Metrorail’s passenger rail services, from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to the City.
It forms part of the City’s plans to create an integrated public transport system comprising passenger rail, bus rapid transit (MyCiTi), scheduled bus services, mini-bus taxis and non-motorised transport.
“We have been engaging with the National and Provincial Ministers on the matter for several months,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Councillor Brett Herron.
“Given that we regard Metrorail (passenger rail) as the backbone of our public transport service and given its fundamental role in achieving our economic and social inclusion imperatives, it is extremely important for the City and for our residents that there is a substantial improvement in the quality, frequency, reliability and safety of this service.
“It is also vitally important that we are able to plan and implement our transport plan in an integrated way. The devolution of the rail subsidy to the City must however come with full management authority, in order that the City can plan, manage and fund public transport in an integrated manner,” said Councillor Herron.
It is against this backdrop that the City approached the National Minister of Transport last year with a view to conducting a Due Diligence Study of Metrorail and its operations in Cape Town. The City was hoping to be able to make an informed decision about requesting devolution of the rail subsidy, and to be able to present a viable business plan for the future management of passenger rail under the City.
“In December, the Minister indicated his support for the City’s proposal. We are now in the process of finalising the tender we expect to advertise for the appointment of a team of experts who will conduct a thorough investigation,” said Councillor Herron.
It is envisaged that a comprehensive study for integrated metro rail services would:
· facilitate a better understanding of the context of the current rail operations and future demand and investment
· address a mitigation of risk
· determine the impact on resources – Finance, Human and Administration – in giving effect to transportation in the City of Cape Town
The City is leading the Due Diligence Study supported by an Inter-governmental Project Steering Committee with representatives from the National Department of Transport, Western Cape Provincial Government and the City.
The estimated time of completion of the study is November 2012.
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