Cape Town - 120822 - In a bid to beef up security on trains, Metrorail is employing a flag system to alert drivers when all doors are closed and it is safe to depart. Pictures taken at Pinelands train station. PICTURE: DAVID RITCHIE

Cape Town - Within the next 20 years, 80 percent of Capetonians will be able to step on to some form of public transport within 500m of their homes.

The R32 billion city-wide integrated public transport network plan for 2032 may still be in its conceptual stage, but the City of Cape Town has announced that it will include 10 additional MyCiTi routes on dedicated red lanes and a massive transport interchange at Philippi East.

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport for Cape Town, said the long-term network plan would meet passengers’ travel demands as the city’s population was expected to increase from the current 4.1 million to an expected 5.6 million in 2032.

The number of trips during morning peak hours was expected to increase by 46 percent in the next 20 years.

Herron said the city formulated its 2032 plan after testing five different public transport network alternatives.

Commuter demand was based on a survey of 26 000 households.

“For the city’s public transport system to be viable and efficient, passengers have to live and work in close proximity to the trunk routes.”

He said the survey found that a third of lower-income households used walking as their main mode of transport.

Mayor Patricia de Lille underscored the need for a “transit-orientated” approach to development at yesterday’s mayoral committee meeting when she called for human settlements, utility services and community services to be involved in all the future discussions.

The plan relies on rail, MyCiT i and feeder bus services. Minibus taxis would be an on-demand local service. Non-motorised transport, making use of bicycle lanes, would also feature.

Herron said one of the biggest components of the plan was the new transport hub in Philippi that would “make the Civic Centre station look small in comparison”.

The new station would “send a strong message” that the city was “committed to providing good quality public transport to all residents, especially those living on the periphery of the city”. It would be in Lansdowne Road, between New Eisleben and Stock roads.

Herron said Philippi had been identified as an essential public transport transfer zone mainly because of the number of BRT trunk routes overlapping on this segment of Govan Mbeki Drive, providing the ideal location for passengers to transfer between services.

One of the 10 new routes, from Gordon’s Bay to Retreat, had an option for a stop near the Philippi Horticultural Area if there was development there, Herron said.

An additional three routes would operate in mixed traffic and on dedicated red lanes.

The transport plan focused on road-based public transport, and in terms of the National Land Transport Act, all planning authorities were required to plan and manage integrated public transport networks.

The city was still in discussions with Metrorail and the Passenger Rail Agency of SA about its role in managing rail transport, Herron said.

The report on the integrated public transport network plan, approved by the mayoral committee yesterday, said the passenger rail system had reached its current capacity limit on critical sections of the network.

But the 2032 plan does include a new Blue Downs double-track rail line from Nolungile station in Khayelitsha to Kuils River station. This would add a 9km-long direct link, with four stops, between the Metro South East suburbs and the Blackheath, Kuils River and Bellville commercial and industrial areas.

The rail network would also double the existing Strand line from Eerste River station to Strand.

Herron said the operational plan, which would include details about fleet size, frequency of services and the exact location of stops and stations, would be finalised within the next 10 months.

Work would then start on the implementation plan which would outline the phased roll-out of the project.

He said that while the plan included project plans for the city road network, it did not address the possibility of tolls on the N1 and N2. “This will be dealt with in the operational plan because it affects the use of the road.”

The impact of the transport plan would be considered and no large-scale movement of people would be needed.

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Cape Argus