The increasing number of private cars on our roads causes several problems, including:
- a morning peak period of almost three hours, which is frustrating for commuters, and wearying on road surfaces
- carbon and gas emissions (transport contributes to over 50% of these)
- slower arrival times for road-based public transport and freight
- increasedcommuting distances (they are now an average of 17,5 km)
- a high traffic accident rate, with significant pedestrian involvement
In 2006, the City of Cape Town produced a report entitled “Influencing travel behaviour – towards a Travel Demand Management Strategy”, which highlighted the need for and approach to the implementation of a Travel Demand Management (TDM) strategy. It set a specific objective for TDM in the City of Cape Town, which is to: “promote a diversity of sustainable travel modes and practices that will influence the choices made by commuters, in order to reduce the overall number of trips, minimise travel time, and optimise travel cost – especially during peak times”.
TDM objectives are as follows:
- to reduce the use of single-occupant vehicles, by creating awareness of alternatives to private-car use - proving to the travelling public and business that car travel is not the only feasible option for getting to and from work, and at the same time communicating to them the true cost of travel, and the long-term sustainability of the system
- to increase the use of public transport and non-motorised transport, supporting feasible and attractive alternative travel modes
- to develop land use activities that will support the use of alternative modes of transport, as well as create a conducive legislative and policy environment
The following six TDM strategies have been identified for implementation in Cape Town:
- Promote higher vehicle occupancies
- Implement programmes for large employers
- Continue to market the TDM and public transport
- Develop supporting policies and tax incentives
- Develop a possible congestion pricing and intelligent transport systems programme for the City
The provision of Park-and-Ride facilities at rail stations across the city is the first project to be implemented in pursuance of these goals.
A draft management plan has been developed in order to integrate the management of the station precinct by different stakeholders, while improving service delivery at the same or a reduced cost. The plan recognises the complexity of managing these facilities across different organisations (both the City and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), including Metrorail and Intersite) through a range of line functions in the different organisational structures. Also, the draft management plan concludes that the public bodies’ mandate to provide a nominal level of service will only hamper the transformation of these facilities into spaces that could compete with private-car use. In transforming, these facilities should follow the examples of airports and filling stations over the past few decades.
The aim of the management plan is to achieve a successful and sustainable mind shift from private cars to public transport, and in doing so, to establish and sustain a better environment, an optimal quality public facility, and ultimately, an improved lifestyle.
Stations should be transformed to be more than mere entry points to the rail system, but to form precincts that are integrated with the urban environment, where people live, work and play. Stations and their precincts should therefore be safe, clean, attractive, comfortable, cost-effective, efficient and multi-functional.
The City has to be proactive and innovative in engaging all role players, including forging partnerships with public and private entities, to create world-class facilities. Ultimately, when Capetonians are faced with a choice between taking a train or a private car to and from town, the train should be the obvious winner based on time and cost-effectiveness, safety and reliability.