Cape Town to pilot new transport system
Pretoria - Cape Town has been chosen as the pilot area for a proposed integrated public transport system, to be controlled by municipalities, the transport department said on Wednesday.
"The City of Cape Town has indicated [it is] prepared to be used as a pilot area and the city must now do a feasibility study," director general George Mahlalela said.
The findings of the study - aimed at evaluating capacity and how various aspects of the project would be managed - were expected to be ready by the end of the year. Thereafter, the city could seek final approval for the scheme.
Decentralising public transport
According to the National Transport Act, passed three years ago, it was important to decentralise public transport functions to municipalities.
The problem was that every town and city had different needs, Mahlalela said.
At present, subsidies were provided by provincial government for taxis, and by the national department for commuter rail transport and taxis.
"At the end, municipalities will manage all those funds."
This meant the Passenger Rail Agency of SA would get the subsidies for commuter transport from individual municipalities, rather than from a central pool as was currently the case.
It would take "many years" for the whole country to move to an integrated public transport system, but gradual implementation would ensure adequate preparation, and that capacity and skills were in place.
"The aim is not for municipalities to change the infrastructure that is already in place, but to build on what is already there," Mahlalela said.