City buses closer to home for many

2015-05-19 06:00
Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, has announced new MyCiti routes.

PHOTO: 
curt lottring

Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, has announced new MyCiti routes. PHOTO: curt lottring

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Plans are all set for two main routes of the MyCiti bus service to link Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain to Claremont and Wynberg via the Landsdowne-Wetton corridor.

According to a statement by Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport, this plan comprises two ambitious trunk (main) services and a network of 34 feeder routes. Collectively, these routes will traverse a considerable area of the city, touching the lives of nearly half of the residents of Cape Town, that’s 1.4m people.

The development of a concept design for the Lansdowne-Wetton corridor routes is now at an advanced stage, and is being presented to stakeholders and communities before detailed design work gets underway.

The characteristics of the proposed corridor are as follows:

Trunk 1 will transport commuters from Mitchell’s Plain to Claremont along a 25km route.

Trunk 2 will transport commuters from Khayelitsha to Wynberg along a 35km route.

These two trunk routes share an 8km segment, providing several transfer opportunities.

The trunk routes will extend from Chris Hani train station in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, along Govan Mbeki Road and Ottery Road to Wynberg, and from Kapteinsklip train station in Mitchell’s Plain, again along Govan Mbeki Road and along Lansdowne Road to Claremont.

These two main routes will cross a number of suburbs, including Philippi East, Ikwezi Park, Nonqubela, Khayelitsha CBD, Litha Park, Mandela Park, Harare, Kuyasa, Enkanini, Manenberg, Sweet Homes, Gugulethu, Brown’s Farm, Nyanga, Philippi, Crossroads, Wynberg, Plumstead, Royal Cape, Ottery East, Ottery, Turf Hall Estate, Lansdowne, Hanover Park, Lentegeur, Beacon Valley, Eastridge, Mitchell’s Plain CBD, Tafelsig, Claremont, Kenilworth, Ronde­bosch East, Kenwyn, Crawford, and Wetton.

The majority of these routes will take the form of a dedicated busway, or what we have come to know as the red road in Cape Town. This will allow the buses to travel unimpeded by other traffic, giving priority to public transport in keeping with national, provincial and City policy. On parts of the route, achieving this will require the use of the proclaimed road reserve.

In addition to the trunk routes, the conceptual design for this new MyCiti plan includes 34 proposed feeder routes.

The draft plan has estimated 25 closed stations to be built on the trunk routes as well as 45 pairs of open stops. The draft plan for the feeder routes, which will criss-cross the area for the trunk service, will need 320 pairs of stops. This will take the City of Cape Town closer to its goal of ensuring that 80% of residents are within 500m of a public transport stop.

According to Herron Transport for Cape Town is committed to reducing the cost of the MyCiti transport as a priority for all households, particularly poor and working families who travel long distances to reach places of work, and spend between 40% and 70% of their household income on transport. The City’s public transport plan aims to halve the cost of public transport in the coming decades and continue to drive it down, in line with international norms.

All of this won’t happen overnight – Herron says it will take around five years to get the next phase of MyCiTi development operational, based on financial allocations from the national government, with the aim of starting services in 2020.

“There will be major roadworks all along the routes, which will be disruptive. Traffic will be diverted – permanently in some places – to accommodate the new main routes. Some private property will unfortunately have to be expropriated – but this will be kept to a minimum. Where there are historical road schemes along the corridor, we have opted for these in order to avoid expropriation. In some cases there will be an impact, but change is inevitable if we are to make progress. We believe the end result will be worth it.”

A range of public open days will be held from Friday to the end of June to inform residents along the proposed routes about the expansion of MyCiTi services in the new Lansdowne-Wetton corridor

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