Improving Accessibility Needs Through BRT in Emerging Economies: a South African Example



Improving Accessibility Needs Through BRT in Emerging Economies: a South African Example

Authors

S Sirivadidurage, C White, Mott MacDonald, UK

Description

Integrated Rapid Public Transport Networks in South African city of Ekurhuleni will aim to integrate Bus Rapid Transit with minibus taxi operations and other public transport modes while providing a high quality, reliable and safe means of transport

Abstract

Accessibility to affordable, safe and reliable transport systems can improve economic opportunities. Such systems can provide massive benefits to low and middle income households in emerging economies. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems through its early success in developed countries and later applications in South America and elsewhere provides an opportunity to introduce large scale urban transport networks addressing accessibility needs of large numbers of people. Income is a major influence in how people travel in South Africa. Higher income earners mainly travel by car. Middle income earners mainly travel by public transport modes such as minibus taxis, bus and rail while low income earners mainly walk. Many of the public transport modes are of poor quality, less reliable and can present safety and security problems. The spread of townships in South Africa means that motorised trips can be relatively long. Therefore public transport needs to be coordinated to be effective. The creation of Integrated Rapid Public Transport Networks (IRPTN) will aim to integrate BRT with minibus taxi operations and other public transport modes while providing a high quality, reliable and safe means of transport. This paper reports the results of the Phase 1 of the South African Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality IRPTN.

It is anticipated that the main mode shift for BRT will be from minibus taxis. The forecasting is carried out allowing minibus taxi passengers to shift to BRT where appropriate based on generalised cost of travel. BRT and taxi passengers can transfer between modes. The Phase 1 route is about 65km long and travels from Tembisa in the north of Ekurhuleni via OR Tambo international airport to Vosloorus in the south of Ekurhuleni. Initial forecasting results indicate that there is a significant demand for Phase 1 BRT in the opening year of 2013. Initial operational analysis results suggest high frequency services even as close as 2 to 3 minutes are required especially in the morning and afternoon peak periods. Designing a service pattern to accommodate very high peaks relative to other times of the day is difficult and costly. However, growth in off peak period demand in the future, supported by an integrated approach to land use and development, would help offset those costs by using spare capacity. To achieve this pre-paid smart card type ticketing system is proposed. In addition, the varying demand along the 65 km route means that avoiding over-supply for those sections where demand is lower is complex.

Publisher

Association for European Transport