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Friday Sep 19, 2014

Cape Town's MyCiTi to close stations and change schedules

Changes to the MyCiTi bus service - including the introduction of an express service on the congested Table View route - will save the City of Cape Town R10 million a year on public transport costs.

But many of the new schedules and revised routes depend heavily on the arrival of the additional buses, expected by the end of the year, or early next year.

The MyCiti Adderley Street terminus.

'These are changes that will support the future expansion of the service, as well as its financial sustainability,' said Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for Transport for Cape Town, at a briefing about the first comprehensive review of the MyCiTi service since it was launched in 2011.

With passenger journeys for the 2013/ 2014 year surpassing the city's target by 2.1 million by hitting the 'mammoth' 7.4 million mark, Herron said there was a responsibility to match this demand on all the MyCiTi routes.

This meant the city had to manage supply without over-providing, at huge costs, on routes with low passenger demands.

'We have to adjust to the realities on the ground if we want to improve the MyCiTi service. In fact, it is the responsiveness of the MyCiTi service to changes in passenger demand and behaviour that will ensure its future sustainability.'

The 'good news' for Table View commuters is the planned express service to alleviate travelling and waiting times on this busy route.

Herron said the service would start within the next six months, pending the arrival of the 18-metre buses.

The direct link between the Wood, Table View and the Civic Centre stations was expected to cut travel time by up to 10 minutes during peak-hour periods.

By the middle of next year, the new trunk route between Atlantis, Table View and the Civic Centre would give West Coast commuters a direct link to the city centre.

Herron said the second phase of the N2 Express was on track for a December launch, pending the delivery of the 20, 18-metre lowfloor buses that have been procured.

The N2 Express service to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, launched in July, has pushed up the demand for the MyCiTi service, with 1.3 million passenger journeys recorded last month.

Route 113 along Ocean View Drive, that recorded low passenger numbers during the week, and virtually no demand off-peak, would be discontinued from October 6.

It was never part of the initial MyCiTi plan, said Herron, and the bus stops are temporary. The buses from this route would be redeployed to busier routes.

By closing 13 kiosks at stations, including Killarney, Paarden Eiland, Sunset Beach and Granger Bay, the city would cut costs by more than R5.6m.

The operating hours of the remaining kiosks are to be adjusted in line with peak periods, saving the city a further R2.2m.

Other changes:

  • From October 4: A short-turning route along the inner-city Route 103 between Oranjezicht and the Civic Centre, with fewer buses. Herron said passenger demand in the residential parts of this route dropped to only 20 percent.

  • From October 18: Routes 106 and 107 will only operate between Camps Bay and the Civic Centre, and will exclude the Waterfront Silo stop.

  • October 18: Several changes to Routes 108 and 109 on the Hout Bay to Civic Centre services. Buses from Hout Bay will no longer stop at Queen's Beach in Sea Point and will terminate at the new Adderley Street Station and not the Civic Centre.

    Herron said the city would announce the details of specific changes in the next few weeks, so the passengers could revise their travel plans accordingly.

    He said bus drivers on the affected routes would be notified of any changes by their Vehicle Operating Companies.

    Herron said the whole of Phase 1 would be fully operational by next September. The city would then turn its focus to the 'massive undertaking' of Phase 2 for the metro south-east.

    Cape Argus


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