Cape Town passenger rail

The City of Cape town hopes treasury will include its railway system in its budged. Photo: GCIS

Cape Town has a plan to take over passenger rail services in the city

Cape Town wants to take over responsibility for the passenger rail services in the city so it can begin resuscitating failing public transport systems.

Cape Town passenger rail

The City of Cape town hopes treasury will include its railway system in its budged. Photo: GCIS

The City of Cape Town has approved a business plan to take over management of the crippled rail network from the Passenger Rail Agency South Africa.

According to Mayor Dan Plato, the city has set into motion a plan that could see them take ownership of the passenger rail services into and out of Cape Town.

It is important to note, even if successful, that this would take a very long time to be fully realised.

Cape Town trains

Even though the business plan may have been approved by the city, it would still need to go through Parliament for final approval before elements of the plan are even started.

“A business plan has been approved to incrementally take over the management of the rail network in Cape Town. However, I must emphasise that this long-term process is in its very early stages,” he said at the Integrated Urban Transformations South-South Knowledge Exchange.

Expanding bus services and infrastructure

The plan includes a R3 billion budget to expand the MyCiti bus service, as well as additional funding to improve and increase transport infrastructure, including those used by minibus taxis.

“An integrated, well-functioning, safe and efficient public transport system is one of the key solutions that would alleviate this challenge and improve the functioning of the City as a whole, as well as contribute to improving the quality of life for many citizens,” he said.

“We have set aside a combined total of nearly R350 million for the maintenance and reconstruction of the city’s roads, as well as new roads and links to alleviate congestion in the worst affected areas.

Blade Nzimande is not a fan

When the plan was first mooted by the City of Cape Town it was not popular with former Transport Minister Blade Nzimande and it is unlikely the idea will have gained more fans in Parliament in the interim.

However, the mere fact that they are trying to do something will surely endear them to the local populace.

It also plants the ball squarely in national government’s court in terms of making decisions that are vitally needed to resuscitate the failing public transport system in Cape Town.