has been proven globally that a good, formal public transport system leads to
improved economic activity and productivity of citizens. Specifically in South America where public
transport systems in cities such as Curitiba, Brazil, Bogota and Columbia have
set the tone in how to effectively improve a nation’s socio-economic; energy
and environmental challenges.
Transport Sector Unit Manager, Tobie Pretorius, described
Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit System
(BRT) as well as the MyCiti BRT System in Cape
Town, as working examples of what
can be achieved in South Africa. GIBB has been heavily involved in both of
BRT is aimed at providing better public transport, reducing
congestion on public roads, improving the environment and creating jobs.
Buses run along dedicated routes to ensure speed of service,
while the enclosed stations are designed to be spacious and welcoming.
“Prioritising the public transport sector by making it safe
and desirable to all South African citizens will be the ‘game changer’ for
South Africa,” Pretorius said.
Pretorius is now working on the initial phases of the
Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS), in the Nelson Mandela Bay
Municipality (NMBM), Port Elizabeth, which has been ongoing since 2006.
proposed IPTS coverage of the city is based on traffic modelling prepared for
the PTP (Public Transport Plan). The main data input used for the modelling
came from a household interview travel survey conducted by the municipality in
2004. This travel survey estimated that there are 1.4 million person trips per
day in the NMBM with a modal split of 33% walking, 26% public transport and 41%
private transport,” he said.
first phases of the IPTS system will focus on, and cater for, the person trips
with the highest likelihood of becoming passenger trips in the proposed
areas in the Metro are being served first, as the majority of pedestrian trips
are within these areas and the existing public transport trips consists mainly
of captive minibus taxi and bus users. People from these areas are deemed to be
more likely to start using the new system.
IPTS is expected to increase the economic vitality of the people in the NMBM,
and specifically those from previously-disadvantaged areas.
economic benefit to the city is that road infrastructure expansion can be
reduced due to the fact that public transport should influence a reduction in /
or stabilisation of private vehicle ownership growth,” Pretorius revealed.
IPTS will have significant environmental benefits, once it is in full
operation. Due to the reduction in certain vehicle types it is predicted that
there will be a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction
in energy consumption and a reduction in noise pollution.
the IPTS is expected to foster a sense of community and will encourage a
healthier lifestyle as has occurred in many international cities where BRT
systems have been introduced.
city will become truly accessible to all its citizens due to the fact that the
system will be 100% universally accessible. The system will be completely
secure which will encourage more people to use the IPTS,” he added.
draft Operational Plan proposes the roll out of the IPTS according to a phased
approach with contract areas in five regions within the NMBM, namely:
Motherwell; New Brighton; Cleary Park; Western Suburbs and Uitenhage.
stressed that once we get public service delivery right, and public transport
being no exception, ‘then we can say that South Africa has truly arrived’.
GIBB, our ethos is People; Expertise and Excellence – so changing lives is a
priority. To this end, we are committed to the state’s concerted effort in
developing South Africa’s infrastructure. This is an exciting time for
engineering and we are proud to be associated with these projects,” he said.