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Tuesday Apr 19, 2016

Cape Town to get tuk-tuk service

Cape Town residents could soon have another choice of public transport - tuk-tuks.

Three years since the city's mayoral committee gave its support for a proposed set of conditions for the operation of tuk-tuks, Cape Town's transport authority has now issued a tender for 80 tuk-tuk licences.

If all goes according to plan, the tuk-tuks could be on the road in the City Bowl and along the False Bay coast, by September.

This comes after a taxi company hit a speed bump in the first quarter of 2013 after it started operating a "free" tuk-tuk service along the Atlantic Seaboard without an operating licence during the festive season of 2012.

The city council put the brakes on the operation, saying at the time that its transport plan did not make provision for tuk-tuks.

Transport for Cape Town said it was now ready to appoint public transport operators for eight areas across Cape Town, including the far south.

The tuk-tuk vehicles - a three-wheeled motor vehicle designed for transporting not more than two passengers - are intended for those wanting to travel distances less than 3km.

While the city council would support the issuing of licences, Transport for Cape Town would not subsidise the service in any way, said mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron.

The areas in the City Bowl identified to pilot the project include Fresnaye and Bantry Bay, Sea Point, Green Point, Bo-Kaap and De Waterkant, Tamboerskloof, Walmer Estate, University Estate, Zonnebloem and District Six.

Operating licences for the False Bay area include Kalk Bay, St James, Fish Hoek and Simon's Town.

"We will make 80 operating licences available, but we have not decided as yet how many tuk-tuks vehicles will be allowed to operate in each area.

"Also, even though the outcome of the tender process will determine the number of operators to be appointed, the city will not appoint more than eight successful bidders," said Herron.

Preference would be given to tenderers who will operate electric vehicles.

Successful bidders will be responsible for setting up the service and determining the operational costs for providing the service and will be paid directly by the commuter for the service rendered.

All tuk-tuks will have to be equipped with a GPS tracking device connected to a web-based tracking system accessible by the city council, so the vehicle's movements can be tracked in real time.

Tuk-tuk operators will not be allowed to transport commuters along any of the MyCiTi routes during the time the bus service is operational.

"Ideally we would like to see the tuk-tuk services transporting commuters to their nearest MyCiTi station or stop, from where they will be able to board a bus to complete their journey," said Herron.

Potential bidders will have to submit a business plan to the city indicating how they will operate their service in support of the MyCiTi service. The licensing operating conditions will prohibit the tuk-tuks from transporting more than three people, including the driver.

The maximum speed the vehicle is permitted to travel is not more than 30km/h.

The service will be limited to one area or neighbourhood only, with dedicated route descriptions.

The tuk-tuks will also not be allowed to travel on major roads where vehicles travel at higher speeds such as Nelson Mandela Boulevard, FW de Klerk Boulevard, Kloof Nek Road, De Waal Drive, Roeland Street, Kommetjie Road, Glencairn Expressway and Ou Kaapse Weg.

Operators will be contracted for three years, with a full review after 30 months.

Cape Argus

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