City Celebrates Transport Month | Western Cape Government


City Celebrates Transport Month

30 September 2009
October is Transport Month and the City of Cape Town has much to celebrate says Councillor Elizabeth Thompson, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater. "Without transport people and goods cannot be moved and our economy would grind to a halt," she said. "Everyone is dependent on food being delivered to where they shop and most economically active individuals require transport between home and their place of work."

The impact and importance of public transport was evident during August 2009 when the people of Cape Town experienced a bus, taxi and rail strike. During this time the City's Transport Information Centre received more than 212 000 calls, a considerable increase on the normal 140 000 calls per month. Furthermore, many callers were unable to reach the centre as the lines were constantly engaged. "We are addressing this by adding an additional 30 incoming lines and upgrading the telephony system," Thompson said. "The aim is to provide as many people as possible with access to information which will enable them to plan their trip. The City is conducting final tests on a public transport website that will enable commuters to access information on the internet," she added.

On 14 August an overturned truck led to the N1 being closed and all routes out of town to be gridlocked. Everyone affected by this will agree that planning and providing the necessary transport infrastructure, is vital to the sustainability of our city. The public participation process on the City's revised Integrated Transport Plan (ITP) has just been completed. Once all input have been included, it will be presented to Council and the MEC for approval. This document governs what we do, why we do it and how we do it.

In the last year, the City constructed 28 new intersections at an average cost of R350 000 each. Thirty five existing intersections were upgraded at an average cost of R200 000 each. During upgrades the City replaces halogen lamps with energy-saving LEDs. This has resulted in a significant cost saving and a reduced impact on the environment.

The City's road network is currently being upgraded in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. "The people of Cape Town are frustrated with the impact this has on their daily lives, but I want to assure you that it is absolutely necessary and, once completed, will seem like a small price to pay," said Thompson. A lot of time is wasted while people are stuck in traffic and the exhaust emissions from the vehicles impact negatively on our environment. During Transport Month the City, together with Green Goal, will communicate tips on how to save fuel, save money and conserve the environment by changing driving habits.

"Not all transport is motorised and I am personally committed to the provision of facilities for non-motorised transport," said Thompson. "In January 2009 the City completed the bicycle lane with pedestrian facility in Spine Road, with the railway overpass to Mew Way scheduled for completion by November. In January, the bicycle lanes with pedestrian facilities in Lotus River and Bosduif Road were completed, with phase two of these projects currently under construction. Non-motorised transport events will be held this month to celebrate the completion of these projects".

"The success of the Park-and-Ride facility launched in Helderberg last year has been very pleasing. On the first day only 15 people boarded the first bus and seven the second. Today the service consists of two articulated buses each seating 115 passengers," Thompson said.

The City is in the process of creating a number of Park-and-Ride facilities as part of the 2010 Soccer World Cup preparations. All 2010 transport operational plans are currently being finalised and marketing and communication material is being developed for distribution from March 2010. "We want to ensure that people know what to expect during the World Cup and especially on match days. Our communication efforts will be focused on providing information around proposed road closures, park-and-ride facilities and access to public transport," Thompson said.

Issued by:
Communication Department
City of Cape Town

Media Enquiries: 

Trevor Steyn
Executive Support Officer to Cllr Thompson
Tel: 021 400 1221
Cell: 082 782 5358

Ester Moag
Head: Marketing and Passenger Services
Transport Department
Tel: 021 400 4707
Cell: 084 458 5479