Residents are reminded to comment on the City of Cape Town’s new Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan (CITP), outlining the strategies and plans for the next five years – 2023 to 2028 – to improve transport in Cape Town, including access to a range of transport choices that are sustainable and dignified. The closing date for comments is 30 November 2022.

The CITP aligns with the City’s new Integrated Development Plan and Municipal Spatial Development Framework (MSDF) and indicates how we intend to – over time – create an integrated transport system; address spatial integration to improve the sustainability and efficiency of public transport services; lower the cost of travelling; and reduce commuting time for residents.

The new draft CITP takes into account the current and future state of public transport such as the implosion of passenger rail; the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and remote working on commuter demand and longer term travel patterns; and climate change.

‘The CITP supports the notion that public transport services and our road network should enable the efficient movement of people, goods and services so that our local economy can grow, we can attract investment, and improve our overall competitiveness as a business destination. The bigger our economy, the more jobs the private sector can provide, and with employment comes improved living conditions and standards, giving Capetonians hope for a better future,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.

The new CITP also provides the current status quo of transport services in Cape Town, from demand to supply, inclusive of all transport infrastructure such as roads, walk and cycle lanes, minibus-taxi facilities and public transport interchanges, MyCiTi bus facilities, stops and stations, as well as information about the current public transport services – the minibus-taxi routes, MyCiTi routes, rail lines, and so forth.

The CITP tells us how Capetonians commute in 2022: • Currently, up to 58% of commuters use private vehicles to get to their destinations; 22% use minibus-taxis; 9% bus services such as the MyCiTi and GABS; 2% use rail (a decline of 95% for the period 2012 – 2022); and nearly 10% walk.

In addition, the CITP also focuses on the City’s planned projects for the next five years and beyond to improve services and infrastructure, among which the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the metro-south east, the construction of new minibus-taxi facilities, and road improvements to alleviate congestion on priority routes.

The CITP provides a detailed analysis of priorities, proposed expenditure over the medium-term and responses to longer-term systemic challenges, among which:

  • a growing travel demand from people with a small disposable income
  • long travelling distances between lower income areas and places of work and opportunities
  • an underperforming passenger rail system
  • poor integration between different modes of public transport under different management authorities or spheres of government
  • inefficiencies within the minibus-taxi sector and MyCiTi bus service
  • maintenance backlog related to the City’s road network, missing road links and traffic signal upgrades needed to improve traffic flow

Some of the proposed principles underpinning the new CITP:

  • Growing investment in transport infrastructure – the City will spend its infrastructure budget fully and strategically to support economic recovery, productivity and competitiveness
  • An incremental approach will drive rapid smaller improvements where public transport can be improved for more people, sooner
  • Inter-governmental cooperation is key
  • The assignment and oversight of transport functions – such as passenger rail – should be pursued where possible and feasible
  • Financial sustainability is critical, projects must be sustainable and affordable
  • Spatial integration must ensure a more compact and accessible city. Improving proximity to opportunities for lower income residents is key over the long-term
  • Robust decision-making, including planning for uncertainty and multiple scenarios, will improve the City’s resilience
  • Agility by constantly reviewing the context to enable earlier interventions and adaptation of plans to achieve goals

‘We have learnt valuable lessons over the past five years, and we have included these in the CITP. We want to focus on areas and projects where we can make the biggest impact in the shortest possible time. Lower income households travel long distances and spend a large proportion of their disposable income on transport. Given the long distances, the operational cost of public transport services is high, rendering it unsustainable in the long-term for operators and commuters.

‘There is poor integration between the different modes of transport which makes it difficult or impossible for commuters to transfer seamlessly between services. Also, given the implosion of passenger rail, more people are using road-based transport which adds to operational and commuter costs, travelling time, congestion and CO2 emissions. Then, those who cannot afford transport and need to walk or cycle to work are increasingly vulnerable to crime.

‘The CITP is our response to address the costs of travel that exacerbates inequality, poverty, and low productivity. Our vision is to create a transport system with the commuter at the centre of all we do, to improve inclusivity, quality and equity. Adding to this is the realisation that we want to achieve these goals in the midst of great uncertainty, thus, our agility and ability to adapt our implementation plans as the situation requires will be tested,’ said Councillor Quintas.

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