VOC News joined Mayoral member for Transport Councillor Brett Herron and a few journalists on a bus ride along the MyCiti Mitchell’s Plain-Claremont bus route on Friday morning. The proposed bus routes form part of Phase 2 of the MyCiti service to the metro-south east. This proposed route was developed after a high demand from the public for easier access to Claremont due to traffic congestion.
The bus route starts in Tafelsig via AZ Berman Drive, into Town Centre Mitchells Plain, proceeding to Govan Mbeki Road, onto Strandfontein Road then onto Turfhall Road continuing to Claremont. Along the route will be a series of stations and bus stops with a spacing of eight-hundred metres.
The bus passed various areas such as Manenberg, Hanover Park, Pinnate Estate, Philippi, Lansdowne, Kenilworth and finally Claremont. The residents of these areas will reap the benefits of this route in 2020 while construction is predicted to start in 2016.
“The proposed route will be available in 2020/2012. We are busy with the early stages of design and will be designing it in the next year or two,” said MyCiti assisting planning and modelling manager Gershwin Fortune.
Among the various MyCiti stations, the New Eisleben and Stock roads will have the biggest station containing five glass boxes due to future proposed bus routes that will interchange at that exact spot, which is intended to alleviate traffic congestion.
Govan Mbeki Road together with New Eisleben and Stock roads will face the biggest roads works come next year as the bus route also known as the “red road” will cause major infrastructure changes to the area.
“The route will comprise of red roads with roughly twenty-five stations,” explained Fortune.
Along the route, VOC reporters were pleased to note that most of the roads included in this proposed plan have sufficient vacant land on either side of the roads making future development easier for the City.
This proposed route came after household surveys conducted in 2012-2014 where residents complained about public transport traffic congestion and delays from Mitchells Plain.
Although a few of the residents are not happy about redevelopment of roads because of noise and dust, the City believes their mind sets will change once they start reaping the benefits of the proposed route in 2020.
MyCiti intends to introduce 20 more buses in April 2015 due to the public demand.
Cosatu to take city to court
Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape plans to take the City of Cape Town to the equality court on claims that the MyCiti bus services are inequitable. The trade union’s provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich believes the quality of the facilities vary in respective areas and are “uneven and unequal”.
“The facility and services are better in some areas than others. We are calling on the equality court to investigate this matter and to order the City to put in place facilities that are equal and fair amongst all the people in Cape Town,” says Ehrenreich.
Ehrenreich said they have seen a stark difference in the availability of the number of buses, the facilities, the landscaping, the security and frequency of the buses in Milnerton and Blaawberg that are “much better” than those offered in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.
“We hope that this equality case will serve as a precedent for any other services by the City that are uneven and unequal. You need to just look at the standards of the roads, the landscape of the roads and the general roll out of the roads in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain to realise the application of services are inequitable compared to the former white areas like Milnerton and Blaawberg,” says Ehrenreich. VOC (Nabeelah Mohedeen/Nailah Cornelissen)