Public Transport Facilities and Management Economics

The Wallacedene taxi rank is the first public transport facility in the country to be regarded as a ‘green’ public transport interchange facility from its very foundation to the rooftop. It is largely self-sufficient in all its energy needs and saves thousands of litres of water through clever design.

Delegates to the study tour will visit this minibus taxi rank with its rooftop solar photovoltaic panel system for electricity generation, resource efficient approach. The rank also has 24 large batteries for the storage of reserve solar electricity to be used at night or on cloudy days. From the LED lights under the roof, to the electronic gates at the entrance and the hydro-boils in the kitchen – everything is powered by this system. It is estimated that the capital cost of this solar installation will be recovered within six to 10 years as a result of monthly energy cost savings.

The taxi rank has also been designed to meet its basic water needs through the harvesting of rainwater as well as the recycling of up to 70% of water used through an underground filtering and reclamation system.

About 5 000 commuters arrive at or depart from the rank on a daily basis, with approximately 50 minibus-taxis operating from there. Previously these services operated from an open piece of land with no formal infrastructure. Now there are a range of amenities to service commuters, the paratransit industry as well as traders.

This Public Transport Interchange (PTI) is considered to be a best practice in public transport facilities and related management economics due to the following reasons, all of which have resulted in further spin-offs in various work streams, namely:

  • The energy and green agenda needs to be further explored across all functions of TCT with the aim of applying the same principles at the 231 PTIs across Cape Town;
  • TCT is utilising the Wallacedene PTI to determine how to reduce the operating costs of all its PTIs through the use of green technology. This can also be incorporated in the transformation of operating logistics that can be transferred to the proposed taxi entities.

Infrastucture innovations to solve real time problems - focus on irt-related infrastructure

Tour delegates will experience a range of innovative infrastructure approaches that have been used in the development of Cape Town’s integrated rapid transit system – MyCiTi. The tour will provide an opportunity to see the infrastructure in use as well as experience the value-add of the infrastructure best practice.

A range of innovations were rolled out by the City to meet tight deadlines ahead of the Soccer World Cup in 2010, and the requirements of MyCiTi’s Phase 1. These have included:

  • The use of continuously reinforced concrete for the dedicated MyCiTi busways (the MyCiTi red roads), delineator kerbs to separate bus lanes from general traffic, and Kassel kerbs to prevent the bus from hitting the station platforms and minimise tyre wear by up to 40%.
  • Infrastructure to facilitate universal access is also a hallmark of the MyCiTi system. Delegates will see the boarding bridges and tactile paving that facilitate level access for wheelchairs and the mobility impaired. Tactile paving and audible pedestrian traffic signals help visually impaired people navigate their way across intersections and around stations and stops. All buses include places for securing wheelchairs. A further infrastructure component has been the high floor versus low floor approach and related transition.
  • Signalised intersections with prioritisation schemes will also be demonstrated as well as the infrastructure located in the precinct of MyCiTi stations ranging from indigenous landscaping to docking infrastructure for the customised low emission buses.

The infrastructure best practice examples have been born out of both operational dilemmas and national policy directives. Cape Town has embraced IRT as well as universal access and the infrastructure has consolidated the operability in the City. The next step for infrastructure is to explore further efficiencies and two examples which include:

  • When it comes to universal access, TCT won an award for its Universal Access Policy. The MyCiTi infrastructure is also ground-breaking in that regard. Now the challenge is for the rest of the transport system and supporting road network to provide for universal access as well as interchangeability to other modes.
  • Exploring the functionality and relationships between open and closed stations in the coming phases of MyCiTi.

Public transport logistics through service delivery partnerships

The Transport Management Centre (TMC) currently facilitates MyCiTi operations, including fare collection; the Transport Information Centre; area traffic control; network facilitation and development; Metropolitan Police CCTV and radio operations; City law enforcement; City traffic CCTV and radio operations; provincial traffic CCTV and radio operations; rail CCTV; and a state-of-the-art data centre. The TMC ensures that there is synergy between this range of functions including TCT, Disaster and Risk Management, South African Police Service, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Metro Police and Traffic, South African National Roads Agency Limited and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape. This multi-disciplined approach has led to unique partnerships that continue to evolve and set new standards and address real issues based on real time info.

Delegates on this tour will experience this high tech, state of the art facility that helps to make transport in Cape Town safer on a 24-hour basis. Highlights will include seeing the Freeway Management System at work, which covers more than 150km of freeways with over 200 CCTV cameras. The TMC manages over 50 variable message signs (VMS) to communicate accidents, road closures and delays to commuters on the road in real time.

The tour will also include the Transport Information Centre, a 24/7 operational call centre, providing information on public transport and road transport related matters to the public, and processing signal faults, potholes and other issues.

The innovative best practice of the TMC can be summarised within the ambit of transportation logistics through governance, institutional and technological partnerships.

The TMC has been so successful that it is being extended by a further floor as well as now including a rail management component. One of the key focus areas is in relation to a new approach to transport enforcement under the transport authority.

Towards innovation in integrated public transport operations

Delegates on this tour will be exposed to large-scale event management plans at Cape Town Stadium station and subsequently at the MyCiTi Civic Centre station they will be able to experience the largest and busiest of the MyCiTi stations in operation. They will receive an overview of the operations of the station which will include the ticket and customer service kiosks, access gates, passenger management, security and bus door interface with stations.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to experience both a high-floor trunk route bus as well as a low floor bus used on feeder routes and the travel characteristics including station docking procedures. At Adderley station, which is situated alongside Cape Town’s main rail station, delegates will be able to view the second busiest station in the system in operation.

Delegates will also experience one of the city’s biggest Minibus taxi ranks on a deck above the Cape Town Rail Station. This busy interchange includes the use of an access token system designed to prevent illegal Minibus Taxi operators who do not have the authority to pick up or drop off at the Station Deck from entering the facility. It should be noted that the token system is the first of its kind to be introduced in Cape Town under the auspices of TCT. The access token system is also being introduced to assist in the regulation of long distance taxis and the tour will visit a municipal long distance taxi rank to see the system in which long distance taxis display a token in their windows. This process is the start of the regulatory functions that TCT will manage as well as the start of the transformation of the minibus taxi industry.

The operations best practice aims to show how each individual intervention within the public transport space can together lead to integrated transport. There is a need to continually improve the linkages and interrelationships between BRT, rail, bus and taxi operations, including:

  1. Operations in relation to station management, operations management, depot operations and operator management;
  2. Interrelationships between MyCiTi, Metrorail and Minibus and Metered Taxis, including the new rank token management system; and
  3. The extension of the public transport operations model to events management in support of mobility and the City’s facilities.

Automated fare collection - towards an integrated ticketing solution

Delegates will be exposed to Transport for Cape Town’s electronic ticketing system, a recipient of the International Mastercard Award for ‘Best Bank Card Ticketing Scheme 2014’. Transport for Cape Town is now a leader in electronic ticketing systems with its card-centric design approach with stored transit points and a distance-based fare structure.

Delegates will experience all the elements of the system. This includes business rules to deal with fare evasion as well as optimising fares charged to commuters through the use of the EMV payment system or points loaded onto the card. This meets the national Department of Transport’s prescribed data structure and lays the basis for a fully integrated, interoperable, multi-modal transport system.

Unlike the industry norm of payment clearing through the traditional back office ticketing system, TCT is guaranteed immediate payment at validation level at the fare reader. The card can be used for everyday purchases at retailers and its structure allows for transit fare money to be kept separate from normal day-to-day spend.

In addition to providing a convenient and safe cashless solution for users the system helps to optimise ridership and address inefficiencies using the detailed ridership reports produced by the system.

Delegates will be shown the system from loading the myconnect card to how the gates and validators work. The best practice is that the AFC and electronic system is the first in the world. There have been many lessons learnt which will be elaborated on. The challenge now is to roll it out across all scheduled public transport, road and rail.