‘Ditch the car to work’

2015-10-27 06:00
Half of City Bowl residents use MyCiti buses to get around the area, a survey has found.

PHOTO: 
bruce sutherland/ city of cape town

Half of City Bowl residents use MyCiti buses to get around the area, a survey has found. PHOTO: bruce sutherland/ city of cape town

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More City Bowl residents are ditching their cars and moving closer to work.

Almost three-quarters of survey takers in the city centre say they live within 3km of their place of work or study.

This number is up from 66% last year, a survey by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has found.

Its third annual residential survey studied residential trends in the city centre, including who lives there as well as what they do, what they want and what they need.

Living so close to work makes car-less commuting a serious possibility, says CCID communications manager Carola Koblitz. However, more than half of these residents still drive to work or school.

The uptake of public transport is growing yearly. Half of the respondents say they use the MyCiti buses – up from 37% last year.

The MyCiti bus service saw a 10% increase in the year up to August, confirms mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron.

“Given that the MyCiti service is transporting 59 000 passengers every day, one can assume that we have succeeded in shifting a significant number of commuters from their private cars to public transport. Obviously, we need hundreds of thousands of other commuters who still drive with their cars to work, to make the same mindshift before we will see a decrease in traffic congestion and a drop in carbon emissions,” he says.

The CCID survey found that only 22% of respondents cycle in and around the city centre, citing a lack of bike storage, not enough cycling lanes and traffic danger as reasons for not getting on their bikes more often.

“It will take years to develop a cycling culture in the city and while the City is doing its part in providing for cycle lanes, our residents also have to play their part in nurturing this mode of transport,” Herron says.

U-shaped bicycle racks are being installed across the city so that cyclists can attach their bicycles there with locks, he says.

Ideally, more residents need to make the shift to public transport or cycling, Koblitz agrees.

“From a carbon emissions point of view the ideal is a downtown that is almost entirely dominated by pedestrianised, non-motorised and public transport. It won’t happen overnight, but we are seeing encouraging movement in this direction every year.”

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