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Western Cape promotes use of public transport

by Luyanda Makapela
on 21 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Western Cape Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town have announced an agreement to invest in road-based public transport.

"Investment in road infrastructure for the benefit of the private commuter is unsustainable. People are encouraged to use public transport as a viable alternative," said Provincial Transport MEC Marius Fransman on Tuesday.

Western Cape Public Works spokesperson Al-Ameen Kafaar said the provincial government and the city remained firm in its commitment to improve public transport infrastructure in and around the city with the introduction of the new road system.

He added that over a million people used the city's roads during the morning peak period, of which more than half used public transport.

"The introduction of the Bus and Minibus Taxi [BMT] lane is primarily for the benefit of public transport commuters who make up 67 percent of the total number of commuters using the N2 during the morning peak period.

"After months of monitoring, policing and fine-tuning the system, the introduction of the lane has proven to be an unprecedented success," said Mr Kafaar.

The BMT lane, he said, has provided public transport commuters with an approximate 20-minute shorter journey time when entering the N2 before or at the Borcherd's Quarry interchange.

Mr Kafaar said this was a significant saving for average commuters who often spend up to two hours travelling between home and work each day.

"This enables commuters to either arrive earlier or leave home later. This has also increased the number of bus and taxi trips per day without increasing the number of vehicles needed, resulting in greater public transport efficiency," he said.

"The MEC wishes to express his appreciation to all motorists that continue to abide by the law and ensure that all road users and commuters have a safe, pleasant and convenient journey on our public roads," he said.

On Tuesday, the National Department of Transport announced that it has been working hard in ensuring an efficient transport system before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This was one of the FIFA requirements to host the event.

Addressing the media before tabling his Budget Vote in Parliament on Tuesday, Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe said for the world cup to be a success, an efficient transport system was needed.

"We have worked hard to put up infrastructure that would meet the world cup transport imperatives while knowing that such infrastructure will continue to be invaluable in the transport needs of our people and economy long after the last goal is scored," he said.

The minister said the department's initiative to acquire 1400 luxury coaches to provide transport for guests attending the games were at an advanced stage.

Once the event is over these vehicles are to be ploughed back into the communities.

The department is working closely with the Local Organising Committee as they both share the vision that the world cup is an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. - BuaNews

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