TRANSPORT: Cape Town Makes Its Move
Recent Western Cape Business News
Yesterday, the Mayoral Committee approved and recommended to Council for approval the City’s application to the national government for the Contracting Authority Functions to be devolved to the City of Cape Town. This application is being done in accordance with the National Land Transport Transition Act, 2009 (NLTA), which envisages the devolution of transport functions to metropolitan municipalities.
This move will fundamentally change the public transport landscape in the city. The Contracting Authority Function is one of the vital components in the development and promotion of an intermodal and interoperable transport system which, by its very nature, will improve the travel experience of our commuters. In order to provide the best service possible, a fully integrated transport network and system is required.
The application will be made to the national departments of Treasury and Transport. Currently, the Contracting Authority Function is fragmented, with Provincial Government managing Golden Arrow Bus Services, the City managing the MyCiTi bus services and the National Department of Transport managing the rail services.
In the first step in the process of devolving the contracting function, the City of Cape Town will take responsibility for the management of the scheduled bus service contracts that are currently managed by the provincial government.
The assignment of the Contracting Authority Function to the City, under the scope of the broader Transport Authority, will manage all municipal public transport services within the City’s jurisdiction. This will streamline the management of contracts for negotiated, subsidised and commercial services.
The main focus of the Transport Authority, due to be launched next month, will be the satisfaction of passenger needs, as well as the interests of public transport operators. Some of the many benefits of this kind of integrated public transport system are:
· a single fare management system, using the myconnect card currently used for MyCiTi to pay for all future public transport services across the city and the country as a whole;
· an integrated timetable and scheduling system, minimising travel time for passengers and offering the highest quality of service;
· improved maintenance of public transport infrastructure;
· duplication of routes will be minimised and where a route is found to be under-serviced further services will be deployed.
· the Transport Authority will also ensure that the City’s transport system is integrated with the surrounding municipalities and districts, further benefitting passengers, particularly those who journey great distances on a regular basis.
“South African cities in general are inefficient and unsustainable by design due to historical Apartheid policies, resulting in longer travelling distances, especially for those in low income communities which are typically on the outskirts of the city. The City of Cape Town is fully committed to the process of achieving integrated transport so as to address these inefficiencies and help create a sustainable and liveable city for all its residents,” said Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater.
“This is just the first of many steps this administration is taking to ensure that the kind of services provided by our transport system are world class, and offer efficiency, reliability, comfort and safety to all our passengers. The assignment of Contracting Authority Functions is just one of the first components that make up the broader aim of implementing an integrated transport system, governed by one body and by the same set of policies and standards. The complex nature of unifying all the arms of the public transport system under one broad authority means that progress can sometimes be incremental; but every step taken is a step forward. This is the beginning of a process that will benefit Cape Town,” said Herron.
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