As part of expanding the footprint of the MyCiTi service, Cape Town will purchase electric buses, according to mayor Patricia De Lille.
De Lille says the city will issue a tender for the procurement of electric buses for the MyCiTi service in line with the commitment to lowering carbon emissions.
“A tender for the procurement of a fleet of 12-metre electric buses is due to be advertised by the first week of February 2016,” she says in a statement.
She adds: “Cities across the world will soon reach a point where alternative fuel for public transport is no longer a choice but a prerequisite, and as such, the City of Cape Town has decided to expand our current fleet of diesel buses with electric ones.”
The terms of the tender specify the electric buses should be able to travel at least 250km in traffic before the batteries need recharging.
“Apart from the buses, the successful bidder must also provide the city with the charging stations for the buses and the necessary training for the bus drivers and mechanical engineers,” De Lille notes.
The city is also considering electric double-decker buses for longer distance trips as they have more seating, she explains.
In his research paper, Anthony Dane, from the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town, says as the demand for transport services is expected to grow, the industry needs to reduce its significant environmental impact and at the same time deliver improved mobility in a way that contributes towards South Africa’s sustainable development objectives.
According to De Lille, Cape Town’s move to issue a tender for electric buses is part of the city’s Energy 2040 Strategy as well as a way to show commitment to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions.
Cape Town will be the first municipality in the country to benefit from the latest alternative fuel technology and will be the first city in Africa to use electric buses for public transport, she says.
“Apart from electric buses being eco-friendly with zero carbon emissions if we use solar power charging stations, a green fleet holds numerous other advantages.
“The operational cost of electric buses is significantly lower – not only in terms of fuel, but also in relation to maintenance as there are fewer parts to service,” De Lille states.
Since the launch of the MyCiTi bus service in 2010, approximately 38.5 million passenger journeys have been recorded to date.
A new direct MyCiti route from Dunoon to Century City through the Omuramba station, in Cape Town, will be opened on August 1, along with six new stations. Print Send to Friend 0 0 The City of Cape Town’s bus rapid transit system’s T04 trunk route would culminate in the public transport interchange at Century City’s new R34-million Trunk station, developed by Rabie Property Group.
The new T04 Dunoon–Century City trunk route would travel along Potsdam road, from Usasaza station, servicing industrial areas along Koeberg road with new stations at Refinery, Montague Gardens and Turf Club before reaching Omuramba station. Buses would then turn down Ratanga road providing communities around the new Phoenix and Sanddrift stations, access to the growing MyCiTi network, ending at the new Century City station in the public transport interchange.
Rabie director Colin Green said the release of bulk land at Century City was linked to various infrastructure projects, of which the Trunk station was one.
“To date a total of just over one-million square metres of bulk has been released and close on 800 000 m2 has been completed. The balance comprises projects in various stages of the planning and subdivision process,” he added.
Green further pointed out that Century City was already well-serviced by rail public transport, with the nearby Century City station, as well as a dedicated taxi rank, but the completion of the MyCiTi Trunk station would add a new dimension to public transport with MyCiTi’s fast, efficient and reliable service, making Century City arguably the most accessible node in Cape Town.
It was envisaged that Century City would become a major interchange between the trunk and feeder routes emanating from Atlantis, Durbanville, Khayelitsha and the southern suburbs. Green said that, as the MyCiTi service expands, the reliance on Golden Arrow bus and minibus taxi services would be reduced or phased out.
Century City has been part of the MyCiTi service since November 2013 when a feeder route was introduced from Omuramba station to Century City, which ran in mixed traffic through Montague Gardens to Century City, down Century avenue, past the Canal Walk shopping centre and along Sable road to the Century City railway station. For existing passengers, the service meant a quicker journey between Dunoon and Century City, with no transfers and a cheaper fare owing to the shorter, more direct route.
Instead of travelling in mixed traffic, the buses would travel along dedicated red roads ensuring a quicker journey even in the heavily congested peak hours, with buses departing every 10 minutes in weekday morning and afternoon peaks and every 20 to 30 minutes at other times, including weekends.
The MyCiTi bus network has been lauded as a leader in the field of African public transport systems.
That accolade came from the Siemens African Green City Index – an independent survey that rated as “above average” the City of Cape Town’s performances of its responsibilities in land use practices, waste management (including reducing, re-using and recycling waste), environmental governance, air quality and water.
“The City of Cape Town welcomes the findings of an independent survey which has recognised the city’s MyCiTi bus network as a leader in the field of African public transport systems,” said Mayco member for transport Brett Heron.
“As a result, Cape Town is among the top cities in the index for the length of superior forms of transport such as Metro or BRT lines. The continued expansion of this network is crucial to both the empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities and to ease the pressures brought by rapid urban development.”
The report says of the MyCiti system: “The city’s performance in this category is bolstered by policies aimed at encouraging commuters to take greener forms of transport and by the existence of dedicated mass transport lanes.”
The report lauds the city’s measures to contain urban sprawl and the balance that it is seeking between necessary urban development and sustainability best practice, said Herron.
“Over the years, the city has invested more than R250 million in 68 public spaces in an effort to create innovative and inclusive community-friendly areas. The city’s previously disadvantaged communities have been the recipients of the majority of this investment,” Herron said.
“More than R35 million has been earmarked for the public urban space programme in the next two years. This will include the commencement of projects such as the upgrades to the Pavilion Precinct in Strand, the Pampoenkraal heritage site in Durbanville and the Langa Station southern forecourt.”
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