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May 12, 2010

Cape Town launches eco-friendly tourism route at INDABA 2010

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From left: George Kiewiets, Lianne Burton, Alderman Felicity Purchase, Cathy Alberts, Keith Edwards, Lynn Maggott and Daphne Kayster.

City of Cape Town Alderman Felicity Purchase, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development and Tourism, launched the new Rail and Ride project at an informal function at the INDABA 2010 in Durban. The launch was held at the Cape Town Tourism stand on Sunday, May 9, and formed part of Cape Town Tourism’s activities to promote the city to attendees of one of the largest annual tourism marketing events on the African calendar.

The Rail and Ride route extends the existing Southern Line rail experience by combining it with reduced-emission Green Cab vehicles and trained tourist guides. The Southern Line is a rail trip from the main station in Cape Town, through the stations in the southern suburbs to the historic village of Simon’s Town, or from Simon’s Town back to Cape Town. The route includes a scenic ride along a magnificent stretch of the False Bay coast that offers whale spotting (June to September) from the carriage windows. There is easy access to beautiful beaches and major tourist attractions within a 2km radius of train stations.

<a href+'http:="" www.capetown.travel="" attractions="" entry="" southern_line_railway_route="" "="">The extended service, at R600 per person, will be offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, departing from Platform Five at the Cape Town Station. The experience includes a train ticket, cab ride, entry into the Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape Point entrance fee and a tour guide. The route will begin running in the first week of June 2010.

The Green Cab is Cape Town’s first eco-transport company and began with a fleet of eco-friendly cabs. The company has reduced their carbon footprint by converting the petrol component of its fleet to run on dual-fuel and the diesel vehicles to biodiesel, made from vegetable oils. This has reduced their carbon emissions by up to 20%.

Green Cabs have also trained tour guides in partnership with Metrorail and the Tourism Enterprise Partnership. These guides will be available in a carriage on Rail and Ride days to point out and inform on landmarks as visitors travel to Fish Hoek or Simon’s Town. Visitors then disembark and enjoy the cab ride to Cape Point, after which they return to Cape Town.

Alderman Purchase received a round of applause from travel trade, media and tourism operators when she said “We have a unique peninsula and railway line from Cape Town to Simon’s Town. Nowhere else in the world can you look out of the window during a train journey and see whales, dolphins, trek fishermen, kayakers and surfers sharing the sea with swimmers and kite surfers. There are surely not many cities in the world where there is a sign on the station saying: ‘No fishing from platform’.”

Cape Town is committed to responsible and sustainable tourism, as evidenced by it winning the Best Destination category in the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards.

This project is a partnership between Cape Town Tourism, Metrorail Western Cape and The Green Cab.

For more information contact The Green Cab on +27 (0)86 184 3473, call Cape Town Tourism on +27 (0)21 487 6800, or email us on info@capetown.travel.

 

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