Metro outlines plans for roll-out of Integrated Public Transport System

BY YOLANDA PALEZWENI - OCTOBER 6, 2016

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Wednesday held a media session where it outlined its plan for the annual transport month. During the month, the Metro aims to showcase its long-awaited Integrated Public Transport System (IPTS) initiative, which seeks to promote the use of public transport and improve the city’s transport services and road safety.

Since 2005, South Africa annually observes October as Transport month. This year, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s theme is delivering efficient, reliable and safe transport services to all in line with the national theme ‘together we move South Africa Forward’.

Speaking at the session, Member of the Mayoral Committee in charge of Roads and Transport, Councillor Rano Kayser, said that the municipality is committed to providing affordable, reliable and safe public transport.

“Despite of all the challenges, it will be in the interest of all the citizens of this Municipality to have a reliable and affordable integrated public transport system that’s going to benefit everyone,’ said Kayser.

He said that the municipality, in line with government’s Nine-Point Plan, is investing in the transport sector, which is part of the country’s initiative to stimulate development and create job opportunities.

“Our public transport investments are part of building and operating an integrated public transport system within the immediate future for the city. A collective approach in transport investment will grow the economy and address the challenges of unemployment and poverty,” said Kayser.

In her address, Integrated Public transport System project manager, Faith Rapetsoa, said that the integrated system is not aimed at bringing competition to the transport industry, but rather to build a relationship with the existing public transport service providers.

Kayer agreed and said that government will partner with the taxi operators in the Nelson Mandela Bay because they are the primary stakeholders that are going to be affected by the implementation of the IPTS.

“The people of Nelson Mandela Bay and the taxi operators should be the primary beneficiaries of this initiative,” he said.

Rapetsoa added that Nelson Mandela Bay roads are not up to standard and they may be one of the factors contributing to high accident rate in the city.

She said that the Nelson Mandela Bay Integrated Public Transport System will be an efficient, safe, affordable and accessible multi-modal public transport system that will support social and economic development  and  optimal mobility, improved quality of life for residents and users of the transport system that costs less.

“The bus system has to cater for all. We will make sure that every single individual access. If you are disabled it become difficult to access the bus service, hence by all means we are going to make sure the system s considerate towards those marginalised categories of  passengers,” said Rapetsoa.

She also outlined a schedule that the IPTS buses.

“The public transport Plan (PTP) was compiled as a part of a CITP as required by the National Land Transport and in 2009 the proposal of the PTP were further developed into draft operations Plans.”

She said that the operational plan proposed five contract areas -  Cleary Park, Njoli, Motherwell, Uitenhage, and the Western Suburbs. In February 2014, the operational planning for the starter services for these areas commenced and was completed in June 2015.

Rapetsoa added that the implementation plan makes the proposal for the planning and operation of starter IPTS services on selected priority routes in the short term, taking into account the financial constraints.

“We are going to subsidies ordinary people and we have a very strict budget on how we are going to proceed with the plans,” she said.

She concluded by saying that they are going to start small, partnering with existing transport services, and said that Algoa Bus Company was already on board.