City poised for “transport revolution”

MyCiTi will be the lifeblood of a future Cape Town, connecting the city in a giant web of red “trunk” routes and smaller feeder routes. This new bus-based transport system will allow Capetonians to travel across the metropole quickly, comfortably and safely.

This is the biggest project the City of Cape Town has ever undertaken, and the first commuter route between central Cape Town and Table View – where there is currently no passenger train service and traffic congestion only gets worse with time – will open early next year, an important milestone.

This route is part of the first phase and will later be extended to Atlantis and Melkbosstrand, Du Noon, Blaauwberg, Montague Gardens and Century City. This phase will also include bus services in central Cape Town. An interim inner-city service is planned to travel to the V&A Waterfront, up Long and down Loop streets, and to Gardens. This is expected to operate for about a year until stations and stops are built for a permanent inner-city service. The permanent service will also reach Hout Bay and the Atlantic Seaboard.

It is envisaged that the second phase will reach the southeast parts of the city, including Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha. Other parts of the city will be covered in years to come.

The MyCiTi network will extend into every township and suburb, linking up with the rail network where this infrastructure already exists. A network of cycling and walking paths will link homes to stations, and complementary routes will be developed wherever possible, allowing Capetonians to cycle and even walk should they so desire.

“MyCiTi will be a powerful tool in helping to overcome the harsh geographical barriers left by apartheid-style planning,” said city spokesperson Kylie Hatton. “When the whole MyCiTi service is set up, the majority of Capetonians will be able to hop on to the frequent, reliable MyCiTi bus service at a stop that is within 500m of most homes in the city, then travel to any other destination. They will only have to wait a few minutes to make a transfer, and will be able to use a single ticket. This is one of the reasons why the city has named its new public transport service MyCiTi, because we believe that in providing a reliable public transport service we are giving Capetonians the chance to own their city. By providing a public transport service we hope to lay the foundation for Capetonians to connect with job opportunities, as well as a safe service for use on the weekend and after hours.

“This service is going to open up opportunities for everyone in the city as never before,” she added. “It’s a fantastic vision, and the first question we are asked is, ‘When is MyCiTi coming to my area?’”

MyCiTi has been designed in line with national government policy, and the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) are building similar systems. A customer-friendly public transport service is absolutely critical to the long-term growth and success of our city.

Crucially for developing countries, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems are the most cost-effective mass transit option, as they combine many of the features of light rail with a cheaper bus-based model.

“There are bound to be challenges in such a massive, complex project but we mustn’t let this compromise our vision. While the transformation of public transport will result in some disruption to the industry, the city is committed to implementing a public transport service which is commuter-focused [and will] benefit existing public transport operators.” said Hatton. “MyCiTi is a public service that we all desperately need.”

Issued by HWB Communications on behalf of the City of Cape Town

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