The City of Cape Town’s latest Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTN) has recently been approved by the council and the plan is to involve minibus taxis in a prominent manner.
The taxis will not only form part of the fleet of vehicles by which commuters will be able to travel between home and work daily; the plan also aims to make use of technology in involving the taxis as a type of Uber.
According to Councillor Brett Herron, a member of the Mayoral Committee for Transport and Urban Development, the minibus taxi industry will be formalised and modernised. “The operators will be our partners in the transformation of commuting in Cape Town.”
Herron said that it became apparent during the implementation of Phase 1 of the MyCiTi project that it was not financially sustainable to remove the taxis from public routes. Cape Town faces the same challenge as Stellenbosch, because it is spread over a large and expansive area.
The use of technology will allow Cape Town’s public transport to operate almost like Uber. According to the Cape Town Green Map website it will include:
· The development of mobile applications that allow the user to see a route, as well as the means of transport and price of a ride.
· Changing between different types of vehicles.
· Consumers will be able to follow the means of transport that they need to use on their phones to ensure that they are at the point of departure on time.
The advantage for the taxi industry will be in the ability to search for customers, and not having to wait at pick-up points for people who want to go along.
Would Stellenbosch be able to investigate opportunities for cooperation with the City of Cape Town, especially regarding the development of appropriate technology, and thus assist the transport systems in both areas?