The new minibus-taxi facility in Masiphumelele is now open for business after nearly 10 months of construction work and the finalisation of an operating agreement with local minibus-taxi operators. The City of Cape Town has spent nearly R16m on creating a modern and resource-efficient transport hub for taxi operators and commuters. The new minibus-taxi facility is located on the corner of Kommetjie and Pokela Roads in the Far South.About 65 minibus-taxis will operate from the facility after it was officially opened by the Mayco member for transport, Felicity Purchase, on Friday 26 July.Seeing that the facility counts among one of the 13 facilities that provide long-distance transport to commuters in Cape Town, it will be operating 24 hours weekly, as well as over weekends. “I’ve recently visited the facility and spoke to residents from the area. We’ve all been waiting patiently for the building work to be completed and the final snags to be sorted. “We’re proud of this hub. It is modern, has been designed to ensure easy access for operators and commuters, and is equipped with a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system for electricity generation. “Also, rainwater will be collected from the roof and stored in tanks with a capacity of up to 9 000 litres. Preserving our scarce resources is a priority, given our experience during the drought, and ad hoc load-shedding imposed by Eskom,” said Purchase.At least 4 000 commuters will make use of the facility from where they can board taxis to destinations in Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Scarborough, Sun Valley and Simon’s Town, as well as to destinations in other parts of the Western Cape and beyond.There are two entrances for minibus-taxis in Chasmay and Pokela Roads, and two exits into Tambo and Pokela Roads to ensure an easy flow of traffic to and from the facility. There are also six loading lanes.“Public transport should be as convenient as possible and the better the flow of traffic, the shorter the waiting time for commuters,” she said. “Also, the drop-off and pick-up facilities have roofed coverings for protection against sun and rain, and the walking lanes are universally accessible to cater to people with special needs. Apart from ablution facilities, we’ve also provided a waiting area for commuters who are traveling a long distance,” said Purchase. The upgrade of the stormwater system in Pokela Road will help prevent the flooding of the road in the rainy season.“It’s also worth mentioning that residents and contractors benefitted from this project through temporary work opportunities and the provision of goods and services during the construction period. At least R942 000 has been spent on temporary work opportunities for residents. This equals wages for 3 675 working days.“A further R118 300 has been paid to subcontractors from Masiphumelele who assisted with tree felling, the installation of manholes and kerbs, and security,” said Purchase.