The City of Cape Town’s Council today, 2 June 2015, approved the Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) Operations Plan which sets out the long-term operational details for the MyCiTi trunk and rail routes for the entire city over the next 17 years.

The IPTN operations plan follows on from the IPTN that was adopted by full Council in June last year. The IPTN is a ground-shifting city-wide integrated public transport plan that was developed by Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, to meet the travel demands of a population which is predicted to increase to approximately 5,6 million in 2032.

‘The operations plan gives us an idea of how the MyCiTi service and passenger rail will operate by 2032 – the routes, hours of service, the fleet size and number of stations. The year 2032 may seem far off, but we have to plan ahead to ensure that the city’s transport infrastructure keeps up with the projected population growth and economic development. As such, the IPTN, operations plan and imminent implementation plan and business plan can be described as the building blocks for ensuring Capetonians’ future mobility,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

The IPTN operations plan provides details on the following: 
  • conceptual scheduling of the MyCiTi service, projected to operate for 16,5 hours between 05:30 and 22:00 each day by the year 2032 
  • projected headways (amount of time between each bus or train on a specific route) 
  • descriptions and maps of the MyCiTi trunk routes and passenger rail lines 
  • estimated number of buses and train sets (fleet) required to meet the passenger demand by 2032 
  • number, type, location and size of the MyCiTi stations, depots and staging areas
  • projected passenger demand on each of the bus and rail trunk routes
A new rail line, called Blue Downs, will link Khayelitsha and Kuils River. Consisting of a 9 km-long double track from the Nolungile station to the Kuils River station, it will host three new stations in between: Mfuleni, Blue Downs and Wimbledon.

Within the next 17 years, an additional 10 trunk routes will be added to the five existing MyCiTi trunk routes: from Retreat to the Strand and Gordon’s Bay; Durbanville to Mitchells Plain; Westlake to Bellville; Strandfontein to the Civic Centre; Mfuleni to Big Bay; Khayelitsha to Century City; Century City to Wallacedene; Mitchells Plain to the Civic Centre and Khayelitsha to Wynberg and Mitchells Plain to Claremont (the last two trunk routes being the next phase – Phase 2A – of the roll-out of the MyCiTi service).

The IPTN is developed in such a way that the MyCiTi trunk routes complement the train services, providing for a seamless transfer between the modes (bus to train or vice versa). Along some of the MyCiTi trunk routes, rail stations have been identified where transfers from rail to bus or bus to rail are predicted to happen in the future and these are also elaborated on in the operations plan.

The proposed locations of the MyCiTi stations along the trunk routes are identified in the operations plan, as well as the type of station to be built, the future transfer opportunities (between bus and train), and the proposed trunk and feeder connections from any particular station.

For example, the operations plan indicates that: 
  • Approximately 88 trunk buses have been allocated to the T11 trunk route between Khayelitsha and Wynberg (Phase 2A) and passengers can expect a bus every 90 seconds during the morning peak-hour period 
  • Approximately 67 trunk buses have been allocated to the T12 trunk route between Mitchells Plain and Claremont (Phase 2A) and passengers can expect a bus every 90 seconds during the morning peak-hour period 
  • Approximately 140 buses will operate on the proposed trunk route between Wallacedene, Durbanville, Bellville, Parow and Century City and passengers can expect a bus every 60 seconds during the morning peak-hour period.

Another purpose of the operations plan is to indicate the projected passenger demand on each of the trunk routes by 2032. As such, it is projected that by 2032 on the T01 trunk route from Dunoon to the Civic Centre station: 
  • Up to 1 421 commuters will board the MyCiTi buses at the Dunoon station during the morning peak-hour period 
  • Close to a maximum of 3 000 on-board passengers per hour will be accommodated on this service 
  • Commuters can expect a bus approximately every 2,5 minutes during the morning peak-hour period

Based on the projected demand on each of the trunk routes, the operations plan estimates that it requires approximately 2 000 BRT trunk buses and 208 train sets to meet the passenger demand on the trunk routes (bus and rail) by 2032.

Now that it has been approved by Council, the operations plan will form the basis for the implementation plan which will determine the roll-out of the facilities and infrastructure and the procurement of the fleet. The operations plan will also be used for engagements with stakeholders in the public transport sector regarding the operational requirements for the City’s IPTN 2032.

‘By 2032, we want to see significantly fewer people relying on private vehicles as they move between their homes and places of work, education and entertainment. For this to happen, public transport has to be accessible, affordable, safe, reliable and easy to use. This is why we intend to place approximately 80% of residents within 500 metres of a trunk (BRT/rail) or bus feeder route. The IPTN and the subsequent plans are building blocks in ensuring easy access to public transport for those who live on the periphery of the city, and furthermore that they can expect to reach their destinations within an hour,’ said Councillor Herron.