Cape Town - The Station Deck above Cape Town Central train station, which services hundreds of thousands of commuters daily, will be closed as of Wednesday, January 16, 2019, for scheduled maintenance.
The minibus-taxi facility also has a number of small businesses operating out of containers on the deck overlooking the Castle of Good Hope, Grand Parade, and the CBD.
The City of Cape Town has set aside just R2 million for the upgrade.
"Minibus-taxis serving local destinations will be operating from the Grand Parade opposite the Cape Town City Hall in Darling Street as from Wednesday, 16 January, until further notice," the City of Cape Town said in a statement.
"The Station Deck taxi rank dates back to 1996 when the roof scape of the Cape Town station was used as a minibus-taxi rank for the first time. It’s one of the city’s busiest transport facilities and thousands of commuters from suburbs from all over Cape Town disembark or fetch minibus-taxis from this rank," City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for transport, Felicity Purchase said.
"Given the traffic and the number of commuters this rank accommodates every day, it has reached a point where we must undertake urgent repair and refurbishment work. The City’s Transport Directorate will now invest approximately R2 million to improve the facilities at the Station Deck," she said.
Maintenance teams will paint the buildings and road markings, repair the lighting, repair potholes and cracks in the road surface and sidewalks, and restore the destination boards to assist commuters in finding the correct departure lanes to their destinations.
"Long-distance taxi services won’t be affected and will continue to operate from the Station Deck while the maintenance is ongoing. The public will still be able to access the Station Deck, but access will be limited in the areas where the work is happening. Some traders and retail outlets may be affected, but this is for a limited period only. In the end, all of the Station Deck users will benefit from the upgrade, and we appeal to commuters to be patient while we’re busy doing repairs," Purchase said.
Minibus-taxis serving local destinations will not be allowed onto the Station Deck for as long as the maintenance work is ongoing. The operators and commuters will be informed once the refurbishment has been completed, "safe to say that it will take at least four to five weeks, pending any unforeseen delays", the City said.
Temporary lanes for the various routes will be demarcated at the Grand Parade to indicate where commuters must embark and disembark. These include lanes for routes to Langa, Gugulethu, Samora Machel, Nyanga, Lower Philippi, Hanover Park, Kensington, Mitchells Plain, Delft, Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Milnerton, Dunoon, Manenberg, Bonteheuwel, Heideveld, Bridgetown, Mowbray, and Wynberg; as well as bays for those taxis serving Atlantis, Silversands, Sea Point, Hout Bay, and Bellville.
"The minibus-taxis will enter the Grand Parade in Castle Street and there are two exits – one in Castle Street and the other in Darling Street. Other road users must therefore anticipate an increase in the number of minibus-taxis on the roads in this area over the next few weeks," Purchase said.@TheCapeArgus