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Open Letter TO Western Cape Government

18 February 2013, 13:01
The seemingly wide use of symptom ebators instead of treating the root cause.  After a conversation with a better travelled friend I came upon some interesting facts and conclusions.  The transport system is in shambles.  There are projections and plans, all brilliant, but they drag on for years simply because the drive for them is low.  The lower priority comes from an inability to think laterally and use initiatives to address a maximum number of issues.

Let's consider the IRT System implemented.  The project, Phase 1a has taken over three years to get this far, and based on what I've actually seen, isn't that far at all.  The  Empire State building took 1 year and 45 days, one might be inclided to say, it's just a building, consider that it is 102 floors completed in 1931.  One of the most utelised transport systems in Cape Town is the train.  Yet, there are no supplementing services.  As many people as there are that may want to use the train, you still need to get to the station.  There are some services and operators that take advantage of this gap, but nothing by government, no partnerships with these operators either.

Let's consider for a minute: You are able to wake up in the morning. Walk not more than a kilometre to a terminal, hop on a bus/shuttle, the shuttle makes a few other stops, on it's planned route to the train station.  You wait for you train, take it to your destination, your destination has similar bus/shuttle.  The trip back is similar.  The times and schedules are workable and adjusted on demand trends.  This system built to run on all days, 24-hours a day.  You have just eliminated the need for the majority of people to be driving at odd hours and for the primary reason to drive, to get to work and enjoy the weekend.  You have just dramatically reduced peak traffic during the week and the number of potential DUI's on weekends(and week days).  A smaller Metro force is needed.  Traffic/Speed monitoring can be automated.  You reduce RAF, emergency response and medical costs at any given time.

You use your new found savings to increase security around the transport mechanisms you have put into place.  Make a stronger police presence in areas that are otherwise neglected, increasing general safety in those areas at the same time.  I could get into the details of redistributing police funds and specilialising units, but the main idea is obvious at this point.  With government organs working together on projects it is possible to identify common points, possibly pool funds, reduce costs and speed up implementation.  Any one who has worked in Corporate will tell you this is how you do things.

So why the Swan Song?  The consensus is generally the same, money.  Not a lack there of, but the loss.  If people are not breaking speed limits in mass, there will be less money to collect.  If people are not driving under the influence, those caught do not pay bail where applicable, people no longer feel the need to drive, so no car purchases means no emissions taxes, registration license renewal cost, the list goes on.

By implementing a successful transport system, a lot of ills can be addressed, but you need to look at it as more than just getting people from A to B.

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