The face of public transport in the CBD is set to look very different by 2020, as the City of Cape Town explores the development of an “inner-city transport hub”.The idea was suggested in 2012, and the project is currently in the conceptual design phase, “meaning it is still in a very early phase,” says Brett Herron, Mayco member for transport.A budget of R6m has been allocated as the estimated initial cost to get the project going. Additional implementation and capital expenditure will have to be budgeted for as the project progresses, he says.“The inner-city public transport hub refers to an area inclusive of all of the public transport modes – be it bus, minibus taxi, train and metered taxi as well as non-motorised transport such as walking,” Herron says.“This area includes the existing minibus taxi rank on the Station Deck, the Golden Acre bus terminus, the long distance bus and minibus taxi station, Cape Town railway station, metered taxi facility and MyCiTi stations. These facilities are all located within the Cape Town Station Precinct.”The project will see the construction of a minibus taxi rank (public transport interchange), walkways, public square, covered walkways and an office building, a vehicular ramp from the Station Deck down to Strand Street, a pedestrian bridge over Strand Street with ramps and stairs down onto the Grand Parade, including covered walkways, the upgrade of the existing Grand Parade bus terminus, the upgrade of the public spaces and road geometric on Strand Street in the vicinity of the bus terminus, and the upgrade of the public space and pedestrian walkways on Old Marine Drive.“The purpose of the hub is to create facilities that will enhance public transport services and commuters’ experience of making use of public transport in terms of easy and safe access, among others,” he says.“Some of the improvements also relate to the improvement of current facilities, and improving on the connectivity between the different modes of public transport and non-motorised transport.”The current facilities are inappropriate to serve in the need and demands of commuters, Herron says.“The facilities – in particular the Golden Acre Terminal and the minibus taxi rank – are not designed for the current vehicle volumes and movements.“An appropriate system is needed to cater for the adequate circulation of traffic, disembarking and alighting, as well as staging,” he says.“There is a clear lack of a non-motorised thoroughfare to link both sides of the railway station. The station forms a barrier in the urban grid, hindering pedestrian movements between the Foreshore area and the south-east of the central business district. The purpose of the envisioned hub is to address all of these.”The creation of the transport hub will look to improve and enhance safe and efficient commuter transfers between the Station Deck and Grand Parade – as such, a new wider pedestrian bridge across Strand Street is proposed, Herron says.It will also improve public toilet facilities and provide a more dignified and safer environment for commuters, as well as improving pedestrian and universal accessibility between all of the public transport facilities.