Solving taxi woes

2018-03-13 06:01
Residents met with officials to find solutions to traffic issues in Pinelands. PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

Residents met with officials to find solutions to traffic issues in Pinelands. PHOTOs: Nomzamo Yuku

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The lack of proper infrastructure for public transport was raised as the major cause of the traffic chaos being experienced in Pinelands.

This was emphasised by residents at an integrated meeting aimed at finding solutions to the traffic chaos. The meeting was held at the Community Civic Centre on Wednesday afternoon. The problem has reportedly worsened over the past few months.

The meeting was attended by residents, local motorists from nearby suburbs and City of Cape Town officials, including the Transport Enforcement Unit. Residents were encouraged to make suggestions of what needs to be done to resolve the issues. Taxis were mostly blamed for causing traffic jams and were accused of reckless driving.

Residents suggested that this could be because of the lack of infrastructure designed to accommodate public transport along the designated routes.

They suggested the establishment of two taxi ranks, one at Old Mutual Station and the other at Pinelands Station. They also proposed having drop-off points along the routes to avoid taxis stopping anywhere on the road.

Resident Wendy Toerien said: “We would like the City to consider providing proper infrastructure so that these taxis could stop illegally ranking everywhere and dropping passengers anywhere on the road. They have recently occupied Howard Centre and the BP garage for ranking and they pull over anywhere to drop off passengers. As residents we would like to see proper infrastructure and be informed as to which roads are regarded as legitimate taxi routes.”

Other suggestions included holding regular roadblocks during peak times, removing illegally operating taxis and increasing fines for taxi drivers.

Faud Petersen of the City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority said they would not provide a response as to what will be done but that all suggestions were noted and would be evaluated. Petersen said the City would welcome other routes suggestions, which would be assessed for viability before being approved. He said the City would critically observe illegal operations and ranking while working on strategic long-term solutions such as the establishment of ranks and stops.

Merle Lourens, assistant chief inspector at the Transport Enforcement Unit, said officials understand the residents’ frustrations but that her department is already working hard to find solutions, not just in Pinelands but in Cape Town as a whole. She advised motorists to work closely with officials by bringing forward evidence of offences.

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