Commuters travelling on the N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Cape Town now have access to real-time updates about the MyCiTi bus departures at the Civic Centre and Town Centre stations.
As part of a pilot phase, real-time information about the next bus to depart on the D01, D02, D03 and D04 routes is now communicated to commuters on electronic signboards or passenger information displays (PIDs) at the MyCiTi stations in the Town Centre in Mitchells Plain and the Civic Centre station in Cape Town.
‘This is a great addition to the MyCiTi service which we are now testing during a pilot on the N2 Express service. The pilot phase allows Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, to communicate crucial and useful information to our passengers. Thus, in addition to the standard MyCiTi departures schedule, commuters at the Town Centre or Civic Centre stations can now see the real-time departures of the MyCiTi buses displayed on the PID at the platform. What is meant by real-time is that the PID indicates to commuters in how many minutes the next bus on a particular route is to depart from that particular platform,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
Another addition to the N2 Express service during the pilot phase is on-the-bus announcements about the next stop. The announcements will be gradually implemented on the whole fleet operating along the D01, D02, D03 and D04 routes over the coming weeks.
‘Some commuters who have travelled on the N2 Express service may have heard announcements on the bus indicating the name of the next stop along the route. These announcements are useful for those who are not paying attention to the route itself, commuters who are not familiar with the routes and stops, or commuters with partial sight or no sight at all who have to rely on their hearing or others for assistance,’ said Councillor Herron.
Importantly, all of the approximately 550 bus drivers who are currently employed by the MyCiTi vehicle operating companies are being trained to operate the bus communications system which allows them to be in constant voice contact with the MyCiTi Control Centre in Goodwood.
‘The bus drivers who operate the buses along the N2 Express routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha completed their training last week. They are now able to communicate with the Control Centre from their seats as and when needed – for example, in case of an emergency or to ask for assistance with route deviations due to an unexpected incident. The introduction of this communication system also enables the system controllers in the Control Centre to monitor the buses operating on the N2 Express routes. The system controllers assist the bus drivers with schedule adherence, and can warn bus drivers in advance of accidents or suspicious activities that may pose a danger to the driver and the passengers,’ said Councillor Herron.
These advances will be rolled out on all of the MyCiTi routes over the next six months and upon the successful completion of the pilot phase on the N2 Express service. This forms part of the completion the MyCiTi Control Centre hardware, software and related systems, collectively known as the Advanced Public Transport Management System or APTMS.
‘Once the APTMS is fully completed and we are satisfied with the outcome of the pilot phases, the MyCiTi Control Centre will be tracking each and every bus on all of the MyCiTi routes across the city. We will therefore know the exact location of every bus at any given point in time. This will enable us to keep track of delays and we will be able to inform commuters about the departure time of every bus on every route on the PIDs at all of the MyCiTi stations. We are looking forward to the day when the APTMS will be fully operational as this will assist us in improving the service and communicating real-time information to our passengers,’ said Councillor Herron.