Time to share a car to­day

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

AN­DREW Don­ald­son’s col­umn, A Fa­mous Grouse, head­lined “Traf­fic woes? Don’t drive, says the city”, Week­end Ar­gus, Novem­ber 7) cor­rectly iden­ti­fies the essence of the City of Cape Town’s plans to be­gin to al­le­vi­ate traf­fic con­ges­tion – be­havioural changes.

This is the most crit­i­cal of the three- pronged ap­proach as it will change the way in which the city func­tions.

Apart from the R750 mil­lion in­vest­ment for road in­fra­struc­ture projects an­nounced at the con­ges­tion sum­mit last week, the mayor high­lighted in­ter­ven­tions the city will im­ple­ment over the next five years, in­clud­ing flex­itime and new work­ing hours.

The city will also take the lead and look at car-shar­ing ini­tia­tives and we en­cour­age the pri­vate sec­tor to fol­low suit and find ways of en­cour­ag­ing work­ers to use th­ese ef­fi­cient meth­ods.

With­out op­er­a­tional and be­havioural change projects run­ning along­side in­fra­struc­ture in­ter­ven­tion, we will not have a sus­tain­able ap­proach.

The city is in­vest­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in ex­pand­ing the MyCiTi bus ser­vice. We are making great strides as the ser­vice is in great de­mand.

Mr Don­ald­son asked about the wifi on the buses. This plan is mov­ing. The city has is­sued a ten­der for a ser­vice provider to in­stall and op­er­ate a wifi in­ter­net ac­cess ser­vice on all MyCiTi buses. We an­tic­i­pate that the ten­der process will be fi­nalised in a few weeks.

There­after, we an­tic­i­pate the suc­cess­ful ser­vice provider will op­er­ate the wifi ac­cess ser­vice on a pi­lot ba­sis for six months, af­ter which wifi will pro­gres­sively be­come avail­able on all MyCiTi routes and buses over the fol­low­ing six months.

Our goal is to cre­ate the con­di­tions that will en­cour­age peo­ple to use pub- lic trans­port. With the pro­vi­sion of wifi on the buses, pas­sen­gers will be able to con­nect their de­vices to the in­ter­net and start their work while com­mut­ing.

Ba­sic use of the ser­vice will be free and each pas­sen­ger will have use of a lim­ited amount 50MB of data per pas­sen­ger.

Con­ges­tion comes at a great cost, with time and money be­ing lost, but also in terms of pol­lu­tion and its longterm ef­fect on our en­vi­ron­ment.

We must work to­gether on all fronts to al­le­vi­ate con­ges­tion.

It is vi­tal we adapt and change our ac­tions if we want to live in a city that works in terms of ef­fi­cient move­ment of goods and ev­ery­one and so we en­cour­age peo­ple to take up Mr Don­ald­son’s of­fer and make a start with car-shar­ing ini­tia­tives.

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