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Cape Town introduces reversible MyCiTi bus lane to reduce congestion

The smart lane system

The reversible lane in Milnerton

14th June 2024

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The City of Cape Town’s Transport Network Technology branch is set to activate a reversible MyCiTi bus lane along the R27 between Loxton road and Broad road in Milnerton.

This bus lane, for exclusive use by MyCiTi vehicles, will permit inbound travel towards the Civic Centre in the morning, and outbound travel towards Table View in the afternoon.

The alternating direction flows will be controlled and monitored through a technological system designed and implemented by city officials.

The red bus lanes along the R27 are for the exclusive use of MyCiTi buses that operate the MyCiTi bus service.

Given the space constraints, the city says it could not build a dual carriageway system between Loxton road and Broad road.

This means that since construction, the single lane along this stretch has been used by buses travelling towards the Cape Town central business district (CBD) only.

However, this will change when the city goes live with the new alternating direction system.

The system will allow buses to travel along the red lane towards the Cape Town CBD from 00:05 till 12:00 daily.

Then, the lane will be closed between 12:00 and 13:00; reopening again at 13:00 to allow buses to travel on the red bus lane in the opposite direction, from the Cape Town CBD to Blaauwberg, until midnight.

Digital notice boards will reflect ‘OPEN’ and ‘CLOSED’ or both ‘CLOSED’ depending on the time of day.

Two thermal AI cameras have been installed at the entrances of the lane to detect unauthorised vehicles and other problems.

The system is monitored from the Transport Management Centre (TMC) using a custom bus-lane dashboard.

Operating personnel at the TMC will manage the system and monitor the lane for any safety concerns.

If any problem is detected, both red bus lane signs will revert to ‘CLOSED’ and an alarm will be raised at the TMC.

For example, if a bus is counted entering the lane, but it is not counted leaving the lane within a predefined time of four minutes, it will be accepted that the bus has stopped somewhere in the lane and the alarm will be sent to the TMC.

The lane will then be closed in both directions, the CCTV system will be checked and the operator will take the appropriate action.

The city aims to have the reversible bus lane up and running by the end of June.

The city’s Transport Network Technology branch developed the system and is busy conducting final tests before the official launch.

“Up until now, the single bus lane between the Loxton road and Zastron road has only served the commuters travelling towards the Cape Town CBD during the course of the day,” says Urban Mobility MMC Rob Quintas.

“This project is just an example of an innovative approach we have taken to squeeze out more capacity from our existing road network to ensure that public transport users are prioritised.”

 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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