IPTS dry run underway

2017-11-15 06:00
The first roll-out of 25 Libhongolethu buses will service the Cleary Park routes. However, the project will eventually expand to other parts of the city.                                           Photo: SUPPLIED

The first roll-out of 25 Libhongolethu buses will service the Cleary Park routes. However, the project will eventually expand to other parts of the city. Photo: SUPPLIED

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THE roll-out of the long awaited Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) has hit another hold-up, while the municipality is now targeting the end of the month as its new launch date to finally have the buses on the road.

According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, the postponement of the launch, which was originally scheduled for last month, was held back due to challenges encountered in the planning process.

This included the formalisation of the public transport industry and the lengthy engagement processes with stakeholders to ensure the buy-in of all affected parties.

Mniki said initial deadlines could not be met due to challenges with council meetings that did not proceed as expected.

“Negotiations with the taxi industry also took a little bit longer and most importantly the vehicle operating contract with the taxi industry had to be approved by council first, which only happened in the last council meeting,” he said.

In a statement, Mniki said prior to the introduction and implementation of phase 1a of the IPTS starter service on the Cleary Park route, the municipality needs to undertake a dry run and driver training.

“Using the existing IPTS lanes, it is intended that the driver training will start on Tuesday, November 21. This will be done to ensure the operational readiness of the system.”

Mniki cautioned all road users to be aware that the traffic signals that provides priority to the IPTS buses will be activated as from the above-mentioned date.

“Residents, pedestrians, motorists, as well as businesses, must please be on the alert that the IPTS buses will be on the road between Cleary Park and the Central Business District from that date, using dedicated IPTS bus lanes.”

Mniki added that from November 21 onwards, no vehicles, inclusive of minibus taxis, will be allowed to use the dedicated IPTS bus lane along Govan Mbeki Road via Theale Street, Fettes Road, Harrower Road up to Stanford Road towards Cleary Park and back.

“Transgressors will be fined and vehicles will be towed away, at the drivers’ cost,” Mniki said in the statement.

Speaking at the launch of Transport Month, member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for roads and transport Councillor Rano Kayser said each bus would have a video camera monitoring the bus, which is linked to the operational centre at the fire station.

Once the buses hit the road, they will start operating at 5am to 10pm ­daily.

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