NO. 512/ 2012
20 MAY 2012
MyCiTi is leading the way internationally on universal access, which includes access for the disabled, the elderly, young children, passengers with large suitcases, surfboards or prams, pregnant women and even women travelling alone at night.
Guy Davies, the universal access consultant for MyCiTi, has been approached for advice on aspects of the MyCiTi universal access plan by organisations including the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) system, the World Bank and Bus Rapid Transit System planners in Rustenburg, Tshwane, Port Elizabeth and East London.
“MyCiTi has such a comprehensive, well-considered plan that it is leading the way on universal access in South Africa and internationally,” said Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater for the City of Cape Town.
“Special needs passengers constitute a large proportion of any population, but in general few of these people use public transport because they assume it is not for them. It might not be close enough to their homes, or they can’t board easily, or they do not feel safe as passengers”.
“MyCiTi caters for everyone. We are already seeing the elderly, people in wheelchairs, and many other groups who might otherwise feel vulnerable or excluded, using the new bus service and loving it. We want to highlight this universal plan, and encourage all special needs passengers to use MyCiTi and give us their feedback about the experience,” Cllr Herron said.
The National Department of Transport requires all Bus Rapid Transit planners to have a universal access advisor.
Davies, who is himself a wheelchair user, said between 10% and 20% of any population is disabled, and one in three households in South Africa is affected by disability. Traditionally, designers, and planners have only considered wheelchair users in making transport services accessible. However, wheelchair users represent only a small proportion of people with disabilities, who themselves only represent a small portion of people with special needs. The goal is to accommodate all special needs passengers on MyCiTi.
Universal access facilities on the MyCiTi service include tactile paving to help the blind locate the stations and platforms; induction loops at ticket kiosks for the hearing impaired; CCTV cameras monitored by a control centre, and even tactile signage and maps, which are now being added to the existing route. There will also be boarding bridges onto all the buses including the new smaller buses, giving passengers level access on all permanent routes.
COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT, CITY OF CAPE TOWN
COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON
MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT, ROADS AND STORMWATER
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
TEL: 021 400 1384 CELL: 082 518 3264, E-MAIL: BRETT.HERRON@CAPETOWN.GOV.ZA