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April 06, 2011

Cape Town transportation gets the green light

green cab

Green Cabs offer an enviromentally-friendly alternative to getting around in Cape Town. Photo provided by the Green Cab

Cries to “go green” can be heard across Cape Town, from surfers in Muizenberg and students in Rondebosch to office workers in the City Bowl and shop owners in the V&A Waterfront. We’re urged to reduce consumption and our carbon footprint. Opting for sustainable transport solutions when going about your business (or leisure) in the city is one way to do this. 

Using your legs – by cycling or walking – is key, as can be carpooling, but what about motorised options? Here are a few green light options:

  • Minibus taxis can be caught from just about anywhere in Cape Town. They’re cheap and convenient, and with around a dozen individuals able to squeeze into one vehicle, they’re relatively eco-friendly, too.
  • A scheduled bus service runs across the city centre, providing Capetonians with a safe and inexpensive way of getting around. Dedicated bus lanes ensure that congestion is minimised. You can visit the Golden Arrow website to find out more, and be sure to keep in mind that the MyCiTi rapid bus service is slowly expanding, promising to make travel quicker and easier soon.
  • Catching the train is another popular alternative. The Cape Metrorail operates five routes over an expansive network. Commuters can travel from the city centre to Simon’s Town, Malmesbury and Worcester, as well as many other destinations. Train trips are cheap and relatively speedy and have significantly lower environmental impact than car journeys.
  • Rikkis Taxis let you share your cab ride, while the Green Cab has a fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles in which you can be ferried about. The cabs run on liquefied petroleum gas and biodiesel.

Cape Town Tourism recently interviewed Green Cab’s Amiene van der Merwe, who says that Capetonians “should not only flaunt our green colours” but “give them substance as well. We all need to reduce our carbon footprint.”

The Green Cab is popular with NGOs, Cape Town corporates and green companies, Van der Merwe says. “The service doesn’t come at a premium – it costs about the same per kilometre as ordinary metered taxis.”

Such sustainable transport solutions add to Cape Town’s eco-credentials, helping the destination to win titles like best destination in the Virgin Holidays 2009 Responsible Tourism Awards.

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