In light of the recent significant fuel price hike, the City of Cape Town urges all motorists to consider their transport and mobility habits and see where these can be changed to minimise the impact of the increase. Residents and motorists are asked to consider public transport wherever possible or to walk or cycle in order to take the sting out of the price hike.
The City is committed to providing an integrated multi-modal public transport network in the coming years, which provides a seamless, convenient, affordable, and safe public transport service to all Capetonians.
Whilst they are still some way from achieving these objectives, and while using current public transport may not yet be desirable for all of our residents, they are asking residents to use this time of massive fuel price hikes to consider how they can minimise their reliance on private vehicle usage or minimise their consumption of fuel.
Increasing private vehicle ownership and usage (particularly single occupancy vehicles) in Cape Town is not sustainable, and it is for this reason that the City, in partnership with the National and Provincial Government, is rolling out the integrated rapid transit project.
Connecting and revitalising communities
The City has also launched Travel SMART. The Travel SMART programme is about connecting and revitalising communities and working towards sustainable transport, i.e. any means of transport with a low impact on the environment. It includes: public transport-oriented initiatives; active mobility (also known as non-motorised transport and including walking, cycling and skateboarding); lift-clubbing; low-emission vehicles; promotion of healthy lifestyles; and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, inclusive, and space-saving.
The capacity of the current transport infrastructure is under increasing pressure, resulting in longer peak periods, worsening congestion, and wasting valuable time in traffic – not to mention the ever-increasing cost on the pocket of the commuter.
The City urges employers and residents to consult their Travel Smart program for suggestions on how to contribute to sustainable transport and a liveable city. Where use of existing public transport is not possible, the City has asked that residents consider lift-clubbing or active mobility.
MyCiTi buses: more routes coming
The MyCiTi bus system has been operating since June 2010. Approximately 12 500 people use the service everyday and with more routes rolling-out this year, we expect to see more people catching the bus and leaving their cars at home. The service has seen a massive appetite from our residents for quality public transport. The City is working hard to extend the MyCiTi services across the entire city, and working with Metrorail to improve the quality of the current train service.
The MyCiTi bus system provides universal accessibility which means that people with disabilities will find it much easier to make use of public transport than in the past. The roll-out of the MyConnect Transport Card, which will eventually be able to be used to pay for all public transport fares across the country, will help make day-to-day travel more convenient for commuters and allows for monthly budgeting ahead of time – along with a myriad of other benefits.
The cost of travelling on public transport is a fraction of the cost of running a private car. Another consideration is that public transport costs increase only once a year – not whenever there is a rise in the price of fuel.
The way of the future
Public transport really is the way of the future: it is much cheaper, less stressful, and more environmentally friendly than travelling by car. It is a crucial factor in building a sustainable Cape Town, and helping to increase the livability of the city.
For shorter distances, we urge people to walk or cycle. There is a growing network of cycling paths in Cape Town, and cycling or walking is an efficient way of staying fit and healthy as well as saving money.
The City would like everyone to have fun investigating all of the public transport options close to their homes, and start taking the train or buses wherever possible – for commuting to work and school, as well as for going out to visit friend.
Let’s do all that we can to grow a public transport culture in Cape Town.