Cape transport set for major overhaul

Cape Town’s public transport system is set for a major overhaul during the next year, with the emphasis on a “commuter-focused” approach at the heart of the plan.

The city is to set up a single integrated transport network, one commuter timetable and one ticket system for all modes of public transport.

Carlyle chats to an associate in the new impound lot before going into the opening ceremony. The City of Cape Town, represented by Mayor De Lille and Transport MEC Robin Carlyle, opened a new impound lot in Maitland. Photo: THOMAS HOLDER

Announcing this and the launch of the city’s Transport Authority on Thursday, Brett Herron, the city’s mayoral committee member for transport, said the aim was to achieve an integrated and inter-operable transport system in Cape Town.

The authority, which will manage all public transport-related functions in the city, is to be launched in October. The plan is to have it fully functional by July next year.

Herron said the main aim of the authority, which is based on models implemented in other major cities including Paris, London and Hong Kong, was to be “commuter-focused”.

Herron said the authority would have planning, financial, regulatory and operational management oversight powers over the city’s entire public transport system.

This means the MyCiTi service, Metrorail, Golden Arrow Bus Services and the taxi industry would be managed by a single authority under the city, Herron said. He said the city had the support of Metrorail, MyCiTi operators and Golden Arrow, but were still negotiating with the taxi industry.

The focus of the authority will be the management of the finance, governance and administration of public transport in Cape Town, which includes:

- Planning the authority, monitoring service delivery and creating an integrated timetable for all modes of transport.

- Establishing a municipal land transport fund (where funds and grants from the national and provincial government will be deposited).

- Setting up a regulating authority, focused on regulations, compliance and enforcement.

- Setting up a contracting authority, focused on the management of operators for all modes of public transport.

- Ensuring inter-operability, focusing on the roll-out of the MyConnect card (one ticket for all modes of public transport).

- Ensuring one brand across all public transport services.

Herron said the authority’s first task would be to develop and implement an integrated timetable for all public transport services in the city.

Asked whether taxi operators were on board, Herron said: “We are engaging with them, but the impact on the minibus taxi industry will be minimal for now.”

Mvuyisi Mente, spokesman for the Western Cape National Taxi Alliance, welcomed the establishment of an authority yesterday, saying it would “do the entire public transport industry good”. - Cape Argus