This week Cape Town unveiled the first phase of the MyCiTi bus service, between Table View and the Civic Centre, on its Integrated Rapid Transit System. The new service is already transforming the way residents view buses. The bus is a salve to many who previously dealt with a complicated network of taxis, buses and rail. One passenger, whose commute was reduced to only 30 minutes, commented, “I used to sit in traffic for two hours…I’m falling in love with the bus already”.
City officials have also praised the system, saying that it will improve the city’s transport system and lessen traffic congestion. However, ANC Mayoral Candidate Tony Ehrenreich, would like to see more priority given to extending the service to the city’s poor, who travel from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain (the largest townships outside of Cape Town) on over-crowded trains and buses.
The launch today follows lengthy negotiations with the local taxi operators, a similar situation that Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya experienced. A contract was finally signed on late Sunday, less than a day before the My CiTi launch.
ITDP has played a critical role in the business and financial planning for the system.