By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa
CAPE TOWN leaders have rolled up their sleeves to see to it that work progresses as plan to make the city the best in the world.
This time authorities are focusing on the question of transportation.
That is why the City of Cape Town has awarded the tender to conduct a due diligence study for the integrated Metrorail services, which includes the devolution of the Metrorail subsidy function to the City of Cape Town.
The study will fall in line with the City’s plans to create an integrated public transport system comprising of passenger rail, bus rapid transit (MyCiTi), scheduled bus services, mini-bus taxis and non-motorised transport, and take nine months to a year to complete.
In a statement published recently, rail services are regarded as the backbone of the City’s integrated public transport service and also plays a fundamental role in achieving the City’s economic and social inclusion imperatives.
“It is extremely important for the City, and for its residents, that there is a substantial improvement in the quality, frequency, reliability and safety of this service.
“It is against this backdrop that the City approached the National Minister of Transport last year with a view to conducting a due diligence study of Metrorail and its operations in Cape Town, the statement reads.
Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, said: “This is simply the first step in the process of ensuring that we put the current fragmented and inconvenient public transport system behind us and facilitate the ushering in of a system that works, that is safe, that is reliable and that is comfortable.”
The City wants to be in a position to make an informed decision on requesting for the devolution of the rail subsidy, and to be able to present a viable business plan for the future management of passenger rail.
And also the City is leading the due diligence study, supported by an Inter-governmental Project Steering Committee with representatives from the National Department of Transport, Western Cape Provincial Government and the City.
This falls in line with the goals and objectives established at the Rail Summit the City hosted this year, most of which relate to the urgent intervention required to address a number of operational and commuter-based issues.
The study will go a long way to providing a detailed picture of the current status of the public transport system and will provide a clear indication of what the priorities should be, what resources are required and how long the process will take.
“The study also reaffirms the City, Province, National and Metrorail’s joint commitment to improving and rehabilitating the passenger rail system, with the aim of making it a world-class transport system, adhering to world-class standards and delivering a world-class service,” concludes Councillor Brett Herron.