Cape Town - The Blue Downs rail link and 10 additional MyCiTi bus routes are just some of the plans being mooted by the City of Cape Town as part of its integrated public transport network plan for 2032.
Speaking at on Thursday’s “city meets business” symposium, Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport, hinted at some of the city’s long-term plans for a single transport system that would allow for seamless travel between different transport modes.
The long-term plan will be discussed in detail by the mayoral committee next week, but Herron said it would include new Integrated Rapid Transit routes on dedicated bus lanes and the Blue Downs rail connection.
Herron said the National Land Transport Act enabled the city to be the authority over land-based transport, which would include rail transport.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do before we decide whether we want to be an authority over Metrorail.
“We would not want to be the authority over something that does not work,” Herron said.
Herron added that although Metrorail was the backbone of the city’s public transport system, the condition of its infrastructure was “dire”.
In some cases, trains were forced to travel at 10km an hour because the tracks were in such a poor condition that derailment was likely.
Many of the signals did not work because of vandalism or ageing infrastructure.
However, Metrorail had invested R250 million in the short term to deal with these critical maintenance issues.
“The city’s role is still up for discussion” and consultation with Metrorail and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) was continuing.
In his progress report for MyCiTi, Herron said Phase 1A – the West Coast Corridor – was now operational.
The route would be fully rolled out by the end of this year when the outstanding 106 buses had been delivered.
The city’s N2 Express Service would be “ready to roll” by July 5.
“We are busy finalising agreements with the taxi associations and will take it to council this month.”
Herron added that the city had first considered one route each way, but after consultation with the taxi associations and Golden Arrow it was agreed that two services in each direction would be better.
Forty buses would be running on these two services by October.
The Phase 1B trunk linking Dunoon to Century City was under construction and the city was finalising the detail design of the supporting feeder services.
Work had started on the conceptual design of the Lansdowne-Wetton Corridor, which will link the Metro South-East and Wynberg and Claremont.
Other plans included national government approval for the city to use smaller vehicles on the Walmer Estate MyCiTi routes.
The “appetite” for MyCiTi was showing a steady growth, with the number of passengers increasing from 270 000 in September last year to just over 1.1 million for May.
Herron said the two Hout Bay routes showed the highest passenger numbers, followed closely by the Salt River service.
“We will need to add some extra capacity.”