http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.14Change: -0.15
R/$ = 12.05Change: -0.20
Au 1200.03 $/ozChange: -6.12
Pt 1139.50 $/ozChange: -16.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 03, 2012

Public transport about more than big bang, 'new flavour' systems

Back
Cape Town|Pretoria|Africa|Components|Design|Environment|Gautrain|PROJECT|Projects|SSI|SSI Engineers|System|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Gautrain|Bus Systems|Generic Technical Solution|Public Transport Services|Service|Services|Systems|Environmental|Gautrain|Erwin Van Dijk|Gautrain|Gerhard Hitge|Infrastructure|Rail|Operations
|Africa|Components|Design|Environment|Gautrain|PROJECT|Projects|SSI|SSI Engineers|System|Systems|Africa||Gautrain|Service|Services|Systems|Environmental|Gautrain|Gautrain|Infrastructure|Rail|Operations
cape-town|pretoria|africa-company|components|design|environment|gautrain-company|project|projects|ssi|ssi-engineers|system|systems-company|africa|south-africa|gautrain-facility|bus-systems|generic-technical-solution|public-transport-services|service|services|systems|environmental|gautrain-organization|erwin-van-dijk|gautrain|gerhard-hitge|infrastructure|rail|operations
© Reuse this



The introduction of new public transport services and hard infrastructure is not enough to entice commuters from their cars, onto rail and bus systems, says SSI Engineers & Environmental Consultants land use and public transport planner Erwin van Dijk.

“Municipalities continue to focus on the provision of a generic technical solution, instead of understanding and addressing a wide range of complementary and, in some cases, contradictory user needs,” he explains. “The introduction of a new system such as a bus rapid transit (BRT) system or a scheduled bus service will, without incorporating different user needs, not provide an acceptable transport option for all.”

Van Dijk and colleague Gerhard Hitge, Cape Town transport planning and policy development head, are proponents of what they refer to as an “incremental approach” to public transport improvements – an approach more likely to provide improved public transport to the majority of a city’s residents, they believe.

They argue, for example, that although the Gautrain and ReaVaya and MyCiTi BRT systems have improved the image and acceptance of public transport, these large-scale, one-project improvements come with challenges and risks, and are implemented at a cost that puts a large burden on developing cities.

“Despite the quality offered through the roll-out of large-scale projects, it is a slow process, which results in poor public transport service continuing in large parts of the cities not immediately benefiting from improvements,” says Hitge.

However, an incremental approach can reduce some of the risks inherent in major interventions. It can provide the opportunity to gradually implement supporting policies, while also allowing improvements in a wider area, benefiting a larger part of the population over a much shorter time period, he adds.

“This does not necessarily mean that widely available quality public transport is not realistic, it only needs a realistic step-by-step implementation that fits the available funding,” says Van Dijk.

“Upgrading does not only have to consist of the phased roll-out of a new public transport flavour such as the BRT, but could also include incremental upgrades of existing public transport corridors.”

In other words, public transport can be improved by many small steps instead of a few extensively planned and costly large jumps, Van Dijk summarises.

Public transport use can also be improved by elements such as land-use planning, transport planning, urban design, and communication and marketing, he adds.

If even one of these components is underdeveloped, the public transport system will be unable to meet the demands of travellers.

In other words, the existence of a bus service alone will not give a potential user enough reason to use it, says Hitge.

“Public transport can only be fully unlocked by combining all excellent elements into one public transport experience. Pockets of excellence are not enough.”

Public transport is likely to provide a better service, and thus a better opportunity for users, in cities that are well designed, for example, and have a diversity of land uses at appropriate densities.

However, in South Africa, the urban environment around public transport interchanges is mostly poor, which creates an experience that is unsatisfying to current users and prohibitive to potential new users.

“Changing the urban fabric in support of a public transport lifestyle is a long-term process and requires conviction and strong leadership to drive transformation,” says Hitge, “but it is a long way from being impossible.”

Communication and marketing are also essential to create a public-transport lifestyle, says Van Dijk. Marketing and information campaigns can increase awareness, change community perceptions and highlight advantages of a specific service.

“In fact, the lack of ‘image’ is one of the reasons public transport users aspire to own a private car,” suggests Van Dijk.

In South Africa, the public transport system is not marketed as a whole, and each operator does its own marketing to a greater or lesser extent. In many cases marketing is targeted at the existing users, with no campaigns to attract new users to the system. There is virtually no coordination, and none of the operators publish schedules in print form, notes Van Dijk.

However, amid all these ‘softer’ elements, the actual transport system also has to live up to expectations, he adds.

Improved public transport operations, with additional services, different alternatives and reliable schedules, can also increase the motivation to travel.

“Only BRT and the Metrorail business express trains provide travel times that are reasonably competitive with private cars during peak hours,” says Hitge. “Other operations are slow and experience the same traffic conditions as private cars. There is also no integrated ticketing system in place where one ticket can be used on several systems.”

So, is all lost? Can car owners be persuaded to shift to public transport?

Yes, say Van Dijk and Hitge. “It is not a lack of good practice, but rather the lack of integration, the lack of transferability of best practice, and the lack of coordination between land use and transport planning, that prevent the anticipated shift to public transport.”

* Hitge and Van Dijk will speak at the Southern African Transport Conference, to be held in Pretoria next week.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Transport & Logistics News
The last of the 26 mooring units comprising the Port of Ngqura’s automated mooring system (AMS) have arrived at the port and are expected to improve port efficiency and safety, further driving the Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA’s) objective of establishing...
Acting Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama
Acting Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama, who was appointed to the position following the surprise secondment of Brian Molefe to Eskom, has placed revenue diversification at the top of his list of immediate priorities, with the weak commodity outlook seen as having the...
Monwabisi Kalawe
Suspended South African Airways (SAA) CEO Monwabisi Kalawe has resigned, with immediate effect, as his relationship with the State-owned carrier had been “irretrievably broken down”. The step was taken following arbitration proceedings between Kalawe and SAA, in the...
More
 
 
Latest News
South African mining and energy adviser Ted Blom has raised a litany of concerns about the state of power utility Eskom and has warned of runaway costs and shortfalls in coal and water, as well as rail capacity. Blom was surprised by the recent buoyancy shown by...
JSE-listed Astrapak will sell specialised packaging systems manufacturer Knilam to Mapflex SA for R17.7-million. The proceeds would be used to reduce Astrapak’s current level of gearing.
The last of the 26 mooring units comprising the Port of Ngqura’s automated mooring system (AMS) have arrived at the port and are expected to improve port efficiency and safety, further driving the Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA’s) objective of establishing...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
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.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Sappi Southern Africa CEO Alex Thiel
Forest products group Sappi has confirmed the selection of its 25 MW biomass-to-power project, to be erected at its Ngodwana mill, in Mpumalanga, as a preferred bidder under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement...
Information and communications technology (ICT) distributor DCC is making Windows- and Android-operating systems tablets available through retailers and education equipment suppliers to provide school children with affordable, high-performance education tools. The...
Another cement manufacturer is set to enter the Ugandan market, raising hopes that prices will come down and spur growth in the construction industry. National Cement, a Kenyan manufacturer, has unveiled plans to invest $195-million in a new manufacturing plant in...
With growth rates exceeding that in the developed world – at an average of between 4% and 5% between 2002 and 2014 – African countries provide investors with ample reason to tap into booming consumer demand says Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad...
The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Business Confidence Index (BCI) decreased by 3.7 index points month-on-month to 89.1 in March.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96