Following its successful debut on the Walmer Estate/Salt River route, Cape Town's MyCiTi operation has now introduced nine-metre Optare Solo SR buses on its F14 Table View feeder service, connecting the busy residential areas of East Parklands, Blaauwberg and Big Bay with the trunk route to Cape Town at Table View Station.
The innovative Solo SRs incorporate doors on both sides for rapid boarding and alighting and to allow the vehicles to use purpose built passenger terminals and standard bus stops. They collect commuters from the suburbs and take them to Table View station where they transfer to 12 or 18 metre buses for high speed transport to the city.
As demand grows on the trunk route from Table View to Cape Town Civic Centre, MyCiTi is increasing the frequency of departures. The deployment of the Optare Solo SRs liberates more of the bigger buses for trunk route duty. It is also operationally economical where volumes don't warrant the use of a big bus.
The East Parklands to Blaauwberg service embraces high population density suburbs and the beaches and restaurants of Blaauwberg which are popular with tourists.
The medium-sized Solo is operationally ideal for this feeder operation with a high percentage of boarding and alighting at street level where its low-floor and boarding ramps offer easy access. This is an important consideration for the off-peak passenger mix which includes shoppers, mothers with pushchairs, the elderly and visitors with luggage.
This marks the beginning of the change-over of buses in the area, with other suburban routes in the Table View district scheduled to be converted to the new medium-sized Optare Solo SRs, thereby freeing up more big buses for other already planned new routes.
“These exciting developments are helping us deliver an increasingly efficient and inter-connected system, with a greater number of routes coming into effect later this year,” said Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater.
Feeder services are a key component of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network being introduced by Cape Town City Council as part of a world-class Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) system combining all modes of public transport. The success of MyCiTi has already been noted by other metropolitan areas both in South Africa and overseas.