Commuters get on an IRT bus at the Civic Centre station. Buses are running between Table View and the city centre, stopping at stations along the way, as the IRT project continues to be rolled out.

STAFF REPORTER

IT’S all systems go for the next stretch of Cape Town’s integrated rapid transit system (IRT), with the city expanding the service this week.

The next stage of the service got off to a smooth start, the city said yesterday, and officials’ biggest order of business for the rest of the week will be to make sure commuters get all the necessary timetables and information.

Last week, buses started running between the IRT’s Table View station and its station at the Civic Centre between 9am and 3pm – a straight route between the two stops.

But this week, the buses will stop at all ten of the stations between the two.

Trips along the trunk route cost R10, and the bus service operates from 5.45am to 9pm weekdays. It runs every 20 minutes, except during peak-hour trips. Between 6.30am and 9am and between 3.30pm and 6pm, trips run every 10 minutes.

Kylie Hatton, the city’s media manager, said there were no major hiccups during the launch of this part of the service. The city’s focus would be on informing commuters about the service schedules this week, Hatton said.

“We need to improve on (getting) schedule information to the public, but overall the response was very positive.”

Hatton said this week would be about “familiarising” travellers with the operating times and the pick-up points.

The Table View and Civic Centre stations had the most traffic yesterday morning.

But because the service had been running for just more than a week, Hatton said it was too early to tell whether extra stations would be added.

“At this stage our focus is primarily on optimising the service in terms of schedule and timing before we consider adding stations.”

On Saturday, the next stage will be launched, and the three feeder services in Table View will start operating. This will include feeder routes coming from Big Bay, Table View, Parklands and Blaauwberg.

These routes will also transport commuters from the area to the trunk service at the Table View station.

The interim city feeder service, the Gardens-Civic Centre- Waterfront route, also started this week. This runs between the Civic Centre and Green Point, the Waterfront, Loop and Long streets and the Gardens Centre. Feeder route trips cost R5. But commuters who travel along the trunk route do not pay the R5 fee for the feeder route trips. During weekdays, the service is from 6am to 8pm. It runs every 20 minutes, except during peak hours, when buses leave every 10 minutes.

[email protected]