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Cape Town's R38mil transport interchange opened

by Luyanda Makapela
on 23 Oct 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Claremont Public Transport Interchange which was officially opened on Wednesday is expected to handle an average of 29 000 commuters per day.

The R38 million interchange, the sixth largest in the Cape Town Metropolitan areas, consists of a bus terminus, taxi rank and taxi holding area as well as a train station on the other side of the Claremont Boulevard.

Apart from the daily commuters, latest figures indicate that 9 600 people use buses, 6 700 use taxis and 13 000 use trains daily to and from this location.

City of Cape Town Mayor Helen Zille said on Wednesday the interchange would further improve the smooth transport operation system in the city.

"Originally the interchange consisted of an informal arrangement with inadequate provision of shelters, no lighting, seating, information signage, nor auxiliary or trading facilities.

"With the increase in numbers of people using this informal facility it became necessary for us to upgrade it to a fully-fledged facility bringing all modes of public transport together," she said.

Elizabeth Thompson, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater said the Claremont Public Transport Interchange was the first facility of its kind designed for universal access and special need passengers.

"This facility proves that the city works for its residents in putting public transport, people and quality of life first. I trust that the numbers will continue to grow and that this facility will become the flagship for future public transport interchanges," she said.

The city's transport department conducted an extensive public participation exercise comprising three public meetings, six stakeholder group meetings and several bilateral meetings with major stakeholders.

The interchange was co-funded by the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Provincial Government and national Department of Transport.

On 23 February 2006, the Claremont Improvement District Company (CIDC) and the Claremont Road Bypass Company entered into an agreement with the City of Cape Town, where the city and other relevant authorities funded the construction of the interchange.

Ms Zille said although there were initial concerns around the proposed taxi operations within the Central Business District, the taxi operators conducted their business professionally and contributed to the harmony at the facility.

Earlier this month, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said the city had made tremendous progress in its preparations to meet the 2010 FIFA World Cup transportation requirements and was still well within its infrastructure budget.

The minister's announcement was made during the 2010 transport infrastructure inspection tour recently.

The tour kicked off at the Green Point Stadium Visitors Centre and proceeded to the Koeberg Interchange, the N2 Rehabilitation Project, the Cape Town International Airport and ended with a drive pass Hospital Bend which is being upgraded to cope with high traffic volumes. -BuaNews

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