TRANSPORT: Cape Town Starts On IRT System
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Cape Town’s Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system will benefit everyone in the city, from the poorest to the most affluent. To reap the benefits of an efficient, safe and reliable public transport service, that will run every day of the year from 4:30 am until midnight, we need to endure some short term pain. The long term gains for the city will be worthwhile and we hope the public will be understanding and patient during the construction phases,” says the City's Kylie Hatton.
According to Hatton the city’s current public transport does not provide frequent scheduled services, or services out of peak times or at night. “Capetonians without private vehicles struggle to get to certain areas in the city,” she said. “The IRT will make the city more accessible for everyone.”
Once up and running the IRT system will resolve the daily traffic congestion. “More people will use public transport once they see how fast, safe and reliable the IRT system will be,” said Hatton. “With less private vehicles driving to work everyday, the IRT will reduce carbon emissions in the city.”
Hatton said a world class public transport system would also make Cape Town more enticing to tourists.
The new IRT system will be rolled out in phases over the next ten to fifteen years, once fully rolled out it will cover the entire city and surrounding suburbs.
The first phase will include the airport – city link and the city – stadium link which will be completed by the World Cup in 2010. Thereafter the West Coast link along the R27, including Du Noon, Doornbach, Atlantis and Mamre, will be rolled out in 2010.
The 2nd Phase will cover the areas south east of the city, including Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain as well as the southern suburbs. The 3rd and 4th Phases will cover the northern suburbs, such as Bellville and Durbanville and the Delft and Blue Downs areas, extending all the way to the Helderberg.
“The biggest construction areas for Phase 1 will take place along the R27 and in the city centre along Hertzog Boulevard and around the civic centre,” said Hatton.
“We have provided an outline of the schedule of construction. “The IRT is one of the biggest projects ever taken on by the City and will provide a legacy to the next generation of a world class public transport system that will benefit all. We hope the public will be patient and understanding of the long term benefits to the city, should they be inconvenienced by the construction in the short term,” she said.
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