Go Durban! is the name of the integrated rapid public transport network (IRPTN) that aims to provide a flexible, safe, cost effective, seamless transport experience for the people of eThekwini.
This was revealed at the brand launch held in the City today which was attended by the eThekwini Mayor Councillor James Nxumalo, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety & Liaison Mr Willies Mchunu, Deputy Mayor Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala, City Manager S'bu Sithole, Acting Deputy-Director-General: Public Transport Mrs Khibi Mbuse, EXCO members, City officials, business leaders and stakeholders along with Head of eThekwini Transport Authority Mr Thami Manyathi.
Go Durban! promises to promote transport that is universally accessible to all of Durban’s citizens. World-class cities know that infrastructure investment is critical to the sustainability of a region, and the standard of living for its citizens. Go Durban! is identified as one of the key pillars integral to the stimulation of economic growth in the region. Initially citizens will see the development of high quality public transport linkages between Bridge City, Durban Central, Pinetown, Umlazi and Umhlanga. The aim is to provide seamless transfers across transport modes, by creating ease of access at stations and precincts, and by using electronic ticketing and providing passenger safety and security. The design of the IRPTN stations and station precincts will create a focal point for communities, as well as for new, and more sustainable economic development.
The initial programme includes the design stage for the stations, station precincts and park and ride facilities and includes the planning and design in each station precinct such as improved lighting, signage, landscaping, street furniture and sidewalk and road design. The design also makes provision for facilities for universal accessibility.
Go Durban! will see nine transport corridors linked by various modes of transport (bus, rail and taxi) across eThekwini by 2027. The provision of transport is intrinsic to the creation of a vibrant, liveable and sustainable city in line with the City’s vision which is that by 2030, eThekwini Municipality will be Africa’s most caring and liveable city. The real purpose of transport planning is the provision of access to work, social facilities such as education, hospitals, as well as including goods and services. Go Durban! is aimed at providing affordable and accessible public transport to eThekwini citizens and to not only connect different areas around the city but also to provide transport services to areas which have previously not been serviced to fully incorporate a sense of community in the City.
Go Durban! aims to deliver:
• Upgraded fleet, facilities, stops and stations
• Extended hours of operation (16-24hrs)
• Peak frequencies (5-10min) – Off peak frequencies (10-30min)
• Full Universal Access (special needs and wheelchair access)
• Safe and secure operations monitored by a Control Centre
• Electronic fare integration when making transfers
• Integrated feeder services including walking / cycling and taxi networks
• Integration with metered taxi services and long distance intercity services
• Car competitive options and alternatives – to enable strict peak period car use management.
Phase 1, which is prioritised around four critical corridors including rail, is expected to be completed by 2018. It will comprise three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and one rail corridor. The three BRT routes are: C1 Bridge City to Durban CBD, C3 Bridge City to Pinetown, C9 Bridge City to Umhlanga Corridor and the rail corridor: C2: Bridge City and KwaMashu via Berea Road to Umlazi and Isipingo. The Phase 1 network will accommodate approximately 25% of the Municipality’s total trunk public transport demand on road-based IRPTN services with a further 40% being accommodated by the trunk rail network as part of Passenger Rail Association of South Africa (PRASA) implementation plans. This approach ensures recognisable benefit to the maximum number of users in the shortest period of time for the given level of investment required. Of the 190km of road based trunk corridors, 60km are planned for the Phase 1 implementation of the network by 2018.
Through Go Durban! the City hopes to ensure that 85% of all residents will have access to safe, affordable and quality scheduled public transport. It hopes to provide opportunities for densification, mixed-use and transit-oriented development to reduce need for travel, and promote the emergence of a world-class city and to inspire a wave of architectural renewal, which will result in urban rejuvenation and revitalization of run-down areas. Through the large scale nature of the project and the timelines it will also create jobs and assist in the alleviation of poverty in the province.
Go Durban! is exceptional in its vision, in that it will have a fully integrated system. Although the entire project will take many years to complete, it is an environmentally, economic and societal-driven sustainable system that will be used for years into the future, becoming one the lasting legacies created for the future in this country.
The Go Durban! website, Facebook and Twitter internet interfaces go live tomorrow (November 2):www.GoDurban.co.za, www.facebook/GoDurban and @Go_Durban.