Safer interchange on the cards

2016-05-17 06:00

Anew public transport interchange where residents will have a safe and dignified area for waiting and connecting with their fellow commuters is the vision behind a soon-to-be constructed facility in Masiphumelele.

The public transport facility, set to be constructed on land directly across from the existing informal taxi rank, houses not only a taxi rank, but also civil infrastructure, an admin building in support of the taxi rank where operators and management will be able to conduct meetings, stormwater infrastructure, non-motorised transport infrastructure such as universally accessible walking lanes so that pedestrians can have safe and easy access to the facility, as well as hard and soft landscaping intended to beautify the facility, such as benches and plants.

Mayco member for transport, Brett Herron, says the facility will cater for four taxi routes operating to Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Simon’s Town and Noordhoek, and will accommodate 60 minibus taxis.

“The minibus taxi operators are operating from a vacant erf with no services or facilities to commuters and operators. Commuters are exposed to the elements and the area poses a safety and security risk.

“It is the intention to create a safe and dignified public transport interchange for all of those who need to make use of public transport in the vicinity of the taxi rank.”

In 2011 Transport for Cape Town conducted a condition assessment of all of the public transport facilities across the city.

“At that time we identified that taxis operate from an informal taxi rank where commuters and taxi operators have no shelter against bad weather or access to proper facilities,” he says.

“We want to transform this space into a new public transport interchange where residents will have a safe and dignified area for waiting and connecting with their fellow commuters. I am confident that the local community will benefit significantly from this imminent investment for years to come and that it will help to improve the quality of life of our residents in Masiphumelele.”

A survey was conducted in February 2013 and at the time it was established that nearly 3300 commuters were transported by minibus taxis from this informal taxi rank, Herron says.

Construction is expected to start in November, if all goes according to plan, Herron says..

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