Dec 09, 2011
New Cape Town feeder buses to be assembled locallyBack
Cape Town|Engineering|Busmark 2000|Components|Gautrain|Industrial|Optare|Roads|Training|United Kingdom|EUR|Gautrain|Maintenance|Transport|Gautrain|University Of Cape Town|BRETT HERRON|Gautrain|Hermann Staude|Operations
© Reuse this
Mayoral committee member for transport, roads and stormwater Brett Herron said that the Optare Solo buses would be assembled locally in Cape Town.
While the existing MyCiti buses measure 12 m and 18 m in length, the Optare Solo is a low-floor, low-entry bus, measuring 9 m in length and 2.5 m in width, which would be used as feeder buses to high-volume routes. “This will now serve to alleviate the congestion in suburbs and bring people from within suburbs to the trunk routes and then connect to the central business distric,” said Herron.
Optare Solo could accomodate 50 passengers, with seating space for 25 people. The bus also includes a wheelchair bay and is designed such that wheelchair-bound passengers are able to enter the bus without assistance. A strapping mechanism that can be used for tying down bicycles in the bus has also been provided.
“An interesting fact [is that] these new buses’ engine emissions are rated at Euro 5, which is a step up from our existing fleet which is Euro 4, so they are more environmentally friendly,” added Herron.
The contract awarded to Busmark 2000 has a value of R660-million and along with the supply of the buses includes a maintenance programme, the training of maintenance staff and the equipping of a new MyCiti depot and workshops. Busmark 2000 is committed to supplying the first 30 vehicles in mid-2012 and, thereafter, will be required to deliver 20 buses a month.
Busmark 2000 will be producing the Solo under licence from UK company Optare. While the company has its own existing range of locally designed buses, which it manufactures in Gauteng, Busmark 2000 CEO Hermann Staude said it was decided to import existing tech- nology from the UK to meet the demand for a small mobile bus. As the bus has minimal front overhang, this provides for extra manoeuvrability, along with the shorter length of the vehicle.
For the 190 buses to be supplied to the City of Cape Town, 70% of the compo- nents will be imported from Optare, in the UK, with the remainder being sourced locally. The assembly facility is being estab- lished in rented premises in the Elsie’s River industrial area in Cape Town and more than 110 staff will be employed for the assembly phase. Some 100 jobs will be created during the maintenance and training phase.
Speaking to Engineering News after the announcement, Staude said that the company is looking to buy a property to permanently set up operations in Cape Town for the manufacture of further Optare Solo buses.
After the City of Cape Town’s contract has been fulfilled, the company will be looking to manufacture more of the components itself in the future, including the bus structure. While the City of Cape Town was Busmark 2000’s only firm client for the Optare Solo buses, interest has already been shown by the University of Cape Town, the George municipality and the Gautrain operator in Gauteng.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
This Week's Magazine
The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope – which is to be jointly hosted by South Africa and Australia with, later, outstations in other countries – may not yet exist, but international scientific working groups are already deciding what...
A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool offers project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film solar PV power over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar...
As yet, no specific methodology, timeline or costs have been finalised to remedy the water ingress, excessive to contractual specifications, into the Gautrain tunnel between emergency shaft two (E2) and Park Station, says Bombela Concession Company technical and...
The “seriously disruptive” electricity outages in South Africa have cost packaging group Astrapak more than R2-million in “irrecoverable downtime costs”, the company said on Monday, adding that the power cuts were negating some of the benefit of energy saving...
Bakkies and more affordable cars dominated South Africa’s new vehicle market in 2014. Unaudited data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that South Africa’s most popular vehicle in 2014 was the Toyota Hilux, selling 37 562 units.