N2 Express service still suspended
The City of Cape Town is doing its best to resolve the impasse that has led to the suspension of the N2 Express service.Read more
The City’s transport authority, Transport for Cape Town (TCT), had set itself a target of 5,3 million passenger journeys on the MyCiTi service for the 2013/2014 financial year. This target was exceeded by 2,1 million, with a mammoth 7,4 million passenger journeys being recorded on the MyCiTi buses from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014.
Since then TCT has seen an even greater demand for the MyCiTi service, partly because of the roll-out of the N2 Express service to Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha on 5 July 2014, and partly because of the growing confidence in the service: in June a total of 1 075 271 passenger journeys were recorded; in July 1 178 523; and in August 1 305 561.
The growth in passenger journeys can also be attributed to the extensive roll-out of the MyCiTi service since November 2013, when the long-term vehicle operator contracts with the minibus-taxi industry and the Golden Arrow Bus Service took effect. In fact, the total number of kilometres of MyCiTi services increased from 308 000 km per month in October 2013 to 1 272 000 km per month in August 2014.
‘It is clear from these statistics that as the service expands, more and more residents rely on the MyCiTi buses to travel around the city, be it to get to work, school or elsewhere. As such, the City has a responsibility to ensure that, as far as possible, the MyCiTi service matches the passenger demand on all the routes. We therefore conducted an optimisation exercise to assess to what extent the resources at our disposal – from our human capital to our buses and infrastructure – are optimised to best suit the current needs,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
Thus the optimisation exercise has been conducted to assess to what extent the supply of the MyCiTi public transport service matches the passenger demand and to address any mismatches.
Following this extensive survey and detailed analysis of all the MyCiTi routes across the city over the past four months, a number of changes to routes and timetables will be phased in as from 4 October 2014 until early 2015:
‘These adjustments to follow from the detailed MyCiTi route-by-route analysis are based on the lessons learned and operating circumstances in running the service. We have to adjust to the realities on the ground if we want to improve the MyCiTi service. In fact, it is the very responsiveness of the MyCiTi service to changes in passenger demand and behaviour that will ensure its future sustainability,’ said Councillor Herron.
Residents who make use of the MyCiTi service should please note that the route timetables will be revised in phases over the next eight weeks. The frequency of the MyCiTi buses on all of the routes, especially in the off-peak period on weekdays between 09:00 and 16:00 and after 19:00, as well as over weekends, will be adjusted in accordance with the passenger demand during these periods.
‘The new timetables are informed by the number of passengers utilising the service. Furthermore, an analysis of the daily passenger demand on all the MyCiTi routes and the boarding and alighting along these routes, provided useful insight into how the City can improve on the service during the morning and afternoon peak hours, while at the same time making the service more cost-effective. This detailed analysis is made possible by the City’s award-winning automated fare collection system, built around the myconnect card,’ said Councillor Herron.
Some of the changes are as follows:
Route 113 along Ocean View Drive (Sea Point, Fresnaye, Three Anchor Bay) will be discontinued as from Monday 6 October 2014. The MyCiTi survey confirmed an extremely low passenger demand on this route, with approximately 80 passengers per weekday and virtually no demand during the inter-peak hours, after 20:00 or on weekends.
In addition to a R2,1 million cost saving per annum due to the route cancellation, the buses from this route will be redeployed to other MyCiTi routes where there is a higher passenger demand. Residents travelling to and from this area still have another option in Route 105 along High Level Road, meaning they will not be stranded once Route 113 has been cancelled.
‘We cannot provide a service in areas where there is an insufficient passenger demand. In fact, only 5,4% of the cost of running this specific route is being covered by the passenger fares and this is obviously unsustainable. As a responsible and caring city we must rather devote our limited resources to areas where residents flock to the stations and stops to make use of the MyCiTi service,’ said Councillor Herron.
Kiosks at MyCiTi stations are often open for long hours and an analysis of the transactions (the number and value) confirmed that some kiosks are underutilised. As such, the kiosks at 13 MyCiTi stations will be closed as from Saturday 1 November 2014 because the transaction value at these stations is too low to justify keeping them open.
The closure of the kiosks at the following stations will result in an annual cost saving of over R5,6 million: Killarney, Paarden Eiland, Porterfield, Royal Ascot, Sunset Beach, Lagoon Beach, Potsdam, Section, Milnerton, Granger Bay, Grey, Janssens and Sandown.