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Thursday Sep 20, 2012

Cape Town's transport vision closer to reality

Cape Town is moving a step closer to gaining complete control over Cape Town's public transport operations.

The MyCiTi service is city-run and will eventually fall under the Transport Authority.

It will see the city managing the subsidies of the Golden Arrow Bus Services, which currently fall under the provincial government.

In 2011, Golden Arrow Bus Services received a R600 million subsidy. It has more than 1 000 buses on 900 routes across the metro.

Now the city is applying to the national government for the contracting authority functions to be taken over by the city.

It's in line with legislation from the national government, under the National Land Transport Act.

Several studies were conducted to find out how this affects the city.

When the plan goes ahead, the city will rope in urban planning experts and contract specialists to assist.

This was discussed at the city's mayoral committee meeting yesterday. The committee recommended to council to approve the decision to lodge the application.

During the meeting, Brett Herron, mayco member for transport, roads and stormwater, said this was a "significant step" for the city.

This then falls under the city's Transport Authority, which will be launched next month.

At the moment, rail services are managed by the national government while the MyCiTi service is city-run. Eventually these will fall under the Transport Authority.

Going forward, the goal is a single payment method for all modes of transport. This can be done with the myconnect card. It will also affect scheduling of services, allowing for a shared timetable.

In a statement, Herron said it was a move towards streamlined public transport services. "This is the beginning of a process that will benefit Cape Town."

The city has worked out a 10-year budget for the process.

The entire integrated public transport system is expected to be complete in the next five to seven years.

Cape Argus

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