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City’s rail feasibility study under way<p>​</p><div>The City’s contract with SMEC SA stipulates clear deadlines, deliverables, regular feedback and reporting to the City on the progress of the work.</div><div> </div><div>‘The first deliverable is due in three months with a first stage report to the City. One critical requirement for the study is that we should have access to all of the financial and technical information associated with operating the current rail system. This information is crucial to a successful feasibility study, and so we need the cooperation of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), and the National Department of Transport. Since the devolution of passenger rail is now supported in national rail policy, we look forward to a collaborative, co-operative effort. That’s why I wrote to Minister Fikile Mbalula in late May to propose the formation of a Working Committee consisting of officials from the Department, the City and Prasa,’ said Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.<br></div><div><br></div><div><img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/Rail%201.resizedpg.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></div><div> </div><div>The National Rail Policy envisages a rail system centred around cities. </div><div><br></div><div>‘The devolution of a national government function to a competent local municipality should be seen as an opportunity to build a public transport service that actually serves the public,’ said Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.</div><div> </div><div>The team undertaking the feasibility study contains specialists in rail business, rail strategic planners, railway facilities and asset management, operations, transport planners, legal experts, and project managers. </div><div> </div><div>Some of the outcomes of the feasibility study are as follows:</div><div>•<span style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Develop a feasible, incremental and structured approach for an improved passenger rail service in terms of planning, operations, and management</div><div>•<span style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Identify and evaluate financing mechanisms for the provision of operations and capital investment</div><div>•<span style="white-space:pre;"> </span>Determine the financial implications for the restoration and sustainability of passenger rail services</div><div> </div><div>‘The City is determined to create one fully integrated public transport system, which will include passenger rail as its backbone, and where all these services operate according to an integrated time schedule with one payment system. But first off, we need to understand the feasibility, risk, and implications for the City by taking over passenger rail from the National Government. The study will address these burning questions, especially as passenger rail in Cape Town has imploded to a level where it is barely functioning,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.</div><div> </div><div><img src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/rail%202%20resized.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></div><div><br></div><div>The multi-disciplinary team will explore the integration of existing transport networks and ticketing and timetabling; railway operations; maintenance of assets; legal services focusing on contracts and concessions; and security planning, among others.</div><div> </div><div>The study will take into consideration Prasa’s modernisation programme and future rail extensions, including the capital funding of these projects; and international best practice. A safety and security risk assessment forms part of the baseline studies, as well as the investigation of an appropriate institutional structure and business model.</div><div> </div><div>It is estimated that over the last decade, approximately 570 000 passenger trips per day have shifted from passenger rail to road-based transport modes.<br></div><div> </div><div>Cape Town’s urban rail network consists of about 270km, 119 stations, staging yards and depots, mostly owned by Prasa. In 1995, the network was served by 95 train sets consisting of 383 motor coaches and 807 coaches. By December 2019, this had declined to 44 sets in operation with some 27 sets operating with a reduced number of coaches.</div><div> </div><div>Due to the implosion of passenger rail, most commuters in Cape Town have shifted to road-based transport, which is more expensive and time-consuming because of traffic congestion and limited capacity on our road network during the morning and afternoon peak hour periods.</div><div> </div><div>‘Cape Town’s commuters, and in fact all South Africans, need a reliable, safe, affordable, efficient, sustainable and integrated public transport system with passenger rail at its centre. People should be able to get to work on time and with ease. Economic growth relies on a productive workforce, and the bigger and healthier our economy, the more jobs will be created, and with that comes improved living conditions and livelihoods. Thus, the study must inform us of how best to take over passenger rail to ensure Cape Town has a world class public transport system to serve all our residents and those who visit our city. In this way, we will be taking the lead in restoring rail as the primary mode of public transport,’ said Councillor Quintas.</div><div><br></div><div>Captions: The City’s rail feasibility study commenced on Friday, 1 July 2022. The study will inform the City about its intention in taking over passenger rail from the National Government. Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, and Councillor Rob Quintas, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, visited Cape Town central station earlier this week. </div><div> </div><div> </div><div>End<br></div><p><br></p>2022-07-02T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#386e6d11-1c73-4d63-9956-3cc3eab4415f;L0|#0386e6d11-1c73-4d63-9956-3cc3eab4415f|public transport;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb10

 

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