Bringing PMB closer

2014-07-01 00:00

PUBLIC meetings have been scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday to discuss Msunduzi Municipality’s proposed Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN).

The rolling out of IRPTNs in other cities has been a fraught process, often characterised by opposition from taxi associations that believe that the city-driven plans will cut into their route incomes.

The 26 taxi associations operating in Pietermaritzburg have formed a steering committee to deal with their responses to the IRPTN.

Steering committee chairperson Boy Zondi said yesterday that for now they were committed to the IRPTN and discussions so far with the municipality had been held in good faith. He said key negotiations still needed to be held with the municipality about the compensation offered to individuals in connection with the IRPTN and existing taxi routes.

The Msunduzi Municipality-appointed consultancy firm Strategic Environmental Focus (SEF) late last week made a scoping report available at several libraries in the capital city, ahead of the public meetings. SEF was appointed to oversee the environmental impact reporting and public’s participation in the planning of the process.

The IRPTN proposals comprise two main terminal stations, one at Edendale and the other at Raisethorpe, about nine bus/truck stations, some nine depot sites, a feeder turnaround and precinct turnaround facility and supporting roads and other infrastructure.

The trunk corridor of about 14,4 kilometres is envisaged to extend from Georgetown in the south, via the CBD to Raisethorpe in the north, and will operate as a Bus Rapid Transit system. The fleet will comprise articulated buses, rigid buses, midi-buses and mini-buses.

Refuelling, wash bays and repair facilities are planned at the depot sites.

Construction will also involve facilities for bulk water transport and storage, bridges, expansion of canals, weirs and bridges, road widenings, telecommunication masts, and clearance of vegetation.

The meetings will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, at Georgetown Hall and the Civic Hall in Bangalore Road, Raisethorpe, respectively, at 5.30 pm.

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