City adopts plan for integrated public transport network

The roll-out of five new MyCiTi corridor routes in Cape Town have been prioritised as well as the upgrading of existing public transport interchanges. Picture: David Ritchie

The City adopted the implementation strategy for the Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) last week but a closer look at the plan shows that most of it is not what northern suburbs residents were hoping to hear.

The strategy, which was adopted on Wednesday April 26, prioritises the roll-out of new MyCiTi corridor routes as well as the Blue Downs rail corridor.

The City hopes to roll the first five corridors out within the next 15 years.

Last week, the Northern News reported on City official Keresha Naidoo’s report to Sub-Council 2 on the IPTN plan. Councillors were upset about the 2032 projected timeline for the completion of the project, and the Kraaifontein upgrade being second last on the list. This news angered councillors who hoped that the upgrades would ease the worsening traffic congestion in the area (“Councillors furious with 9th place”, Northern News, April 26).

Another five MyCiTi trunk routes are planned: the T15 between Strandfontein and the Cape Town CBD; the T14 between Westlake and Bellville; the T16 between Eerste River and Blouberg; the T19 between Kraaifontein and Century City; and the T10 between Gordon’s Bay and Retreat.

These routes, however, will be implemented only after 2032, the City said.

“This strategy underpins the City’s new Organisational Development and Transformation Plan (ODTP) which identifies dense and transit-oriented growth and development and efficient, integrated public transport as key priorities,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, Brett Herron.

Prioritised corridors are:

* The T11 MyCiTi corridor connecting Wynberg and Khayelitsha;

* The T12 MyCiTi corridor connecting Mitchell’s Plain and Claremont;

* The T17 MyCiTi corridor connecting Khayelitsha and Century City;

* The D12 MyCiTi route or Klipfontein Road corridor connecting Mitchell’s Plain and the Cape Town central business district (CBD);

* The T13 MyCiTi route or Symphony Way corridor connecting Mitchell’s Plain and Durbanville; and

* The Blue Downs rail corridor.

This last corridor will be a double-track rail link of about 9km between Nolungile station in Khayelitsha and the Kuils River station with three new stations in between, namely Mfuleni, Blue Downs and Wimbledon.

“We want to have the five new MyCiTi corridors fully operational by 2032. This may sound far off, but the scale and reach of these routes is significantly bigger in comparison with the existing MyCiTi network. In fact, the five new corridors will serve at least five times the passengers that are currently travelling on the existing MyCiTi routes. It will connect some of the most disadvantaged communities to five major destinations – the Cape Town CBD, Bellville, Claremont, Wynberg and Century City,” said Mr Herron.

He said when prioritising routes, the Transport and Urban Development Authority (TDA) specifically considered areas where:

* The most residents would benefit from the roll-out;

* The time passengers would save by travelling in a MyCiTi bus on a dedicated bus rapid transit route (red road), as opposed to using public transport in mixed traffic;

* The percentage of low-income households the routes would serve;

* Integration opportunities along a route where commuters have easy access to other modes of transport such as rail; and

* Those currently travelling in private cars could shift to public transport such as the MyCiTi service, to travel to work and other destinations.

The TDA also took the capital and operational costs for each route into consideration during the prioritisation exercise, including:

* The estimated cost of the infrastructure and fleet needed for each route;

* Total annual operational cost for each route; and

* Revenue/ cost ratio per route.

The National Treasury has, through the conditional Public Transport Network Grant, allocated R1.4 billion and R1.6 billion respectively for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 financial years to the City for the provision of public transport infrastructure. According to the City, it will take at least 15 years to plan and construct the infrastructure needed to implement the five new MyCiTi corridors. “We will have to maintain and improve the existing facilities and operations while we incrementally roll out the MyCiTi trunk routes. As such, we will upgrade several public transport interchanges which are currently being used by minibus-taxis and buses, and provide new park-and-ride facilities at MyCiTi stations and rail stations,” he said.