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Friday Aug 24, 2012

Salt River, Woodstock next on list for MyCiTi

Woodstock and Salt River are next in line to benefit from the MyCiTi service, with buses expected to roll by the end of the year.

MyCiTi buses currently operate in the CBD, to Cape Town International Airport and to suburbs along the R27 trunk route as far as the West Coast Village shopping mall in West Beach.

The city held public consultations yesterday afternoon on the extension of feeder routes into Woodstock and Salt River.

The proposed route runs from the CTICC, up Adderley Street, along Darling Street and then Keizersgracht through Upper Woodstock, then down Roodebloem to Salt River Road and the Salt River train station.

The public information day was held to get views on proposed routes and location of the stops, and ways to ease congestion along these routes.

Mayoral committee member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Brett Herron, said the city would have discussions with existing public transport such as taxis and Golden Arrow (bus) regarding compensation, the possibility of owning shares in MyCiti, or forming companies to operate MyCiTi buses and stations, as is the case on the R27 trunk route.

Herron said 76 people attended the hearings and the comments were "overwhelmingly positive".

Pamphlets detailing the proposed routes were on display and city officials were on hand to discuss queries.

One of the people attending the information day was an owner of several properties in Woodstock and Salt River, Ebrahim Kaskar.

Kaskar said he supported the MyCiTi transport plan, but was upset to see the city had earmarked a bus stop to be placed at the entrance to one of his business properties.

Situated opposite Salt River Station, the 110-bedroom property called Sikelela was previously a Cape Peninsula University of Technology students' residence and is valued at R20 million, said Kaskar. He believed the bus stop would obstruct the entrance to his business, and engaged city officials on the matter.

However, he believed the extension of the MyCiTi bus service to the area might, revive the Salt River station.

"MyCiTi expansion to Woodstock and Salt River will make this area a student backpackers hub. It would be very conducive for students to move into this area. It will bring more business into the area," he said.

Kaskar said he had raised his problems with city planners and engineers at the meeting, and had been told they would reconsider the bus stop's placement.

Some members of the public expressed dissatisfaction with the information session.

Pensioner Jaweyar Rahim, 72, who has lived in Salt River for more than 60 years, said she expected a thorough and detailed presentation, and was dismayed that all that was available were pamphlets and brochures.

However, Herron said the city had designed the processes "so that anyone has an opportunity to interact directly with the engineers and technicians designing the system".

"This enables people to receive an authoritative response to their questions immediately and interact directly with the team responsible for implementation."

Cape Times

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