Municipal Institute Of LearningMILE - Municipal Institute Of Learning
Exciting and Innovative Integrated Public Transport in the spotlight
Thami Manyathi, Head of eThekwini’s Transportation Authority (ETA) shared the City’s vision of a more accessible, safe, effective and integrated public transport system at MILE’s fourth Built Environment Seminar Series, hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) at the Durban Botanic Gardens on 23rd May 2012.

In an informative and refreshing presentation, he announced that R2, 4bn has been made available to get eThekwini’s Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network programme (IRPTN) kick started. He explained that the planning has now been completed and outlined the series of phased integrated corridors, the first of which will be in operation by 2016.

“In order for the IRPTN plan to be successful other sectors within the City have to be incorporated. The more sectors that contribute to the programme the sooner the transport system will be complete. We need to put more investment into improving public transport which will also work to enhance the environment and the City at large,” said Manyathi. 

Manyathi stressed the partnership that ETA has with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) that have prioritised eThekwini to ensure that an integrated road and rail system is delivered, including other elements such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), fare and revenue collection systems and the associated buildings.

The innovative MUVO smartcard and smart vans are set to be implemented in June 2012. The Brand Ambassadors for these initiatives, who will be encouraging the community to join MUVO, are drawn from Durban’s universities.

During the vibrant discussions facilitated by Glen Robbins from UKZN’s School of Development Studies, very interesting issues were raised. Some of these included the need for even greater civil society engagement for successful implementation of the IRPTN, ensuring that transportation engineering and land-use planning considerations are integrated, rethinking government and the private sector’s car allowance subsidies and incentives that promote private car usage. Other important issues raised was the need to continue the good relationship that the eThekwini Municipality has with PRASA to ensure integrated rail design systems and to explore what planning instruments are needed in order to guarantee that residential developments are of optimal densities to promote a better urban form. Universal access to public transportation that meets the requirements of the special needs of differently-abled people was also high on the discussion agenda.

Finally the area of affordable pricing of public transport, including cross subsidisation from single occupancy vehicles towards those using the public transport system was another key talking point. 

Participants who engaged in the discussion session were equally impressed and eager to help implement the IRPTN. Beryl Khanyile from the eThekwini Municipality’s Housing Unit commented on the IRTPN from a housing perspective. She said, “The IRTPN is responding to the existing gaps in an attempt to focus on sustainable human settlements in economic activity.” 

Durban University of Technology, Town Planning student, Siyanda Ngcobo was inspired by the presentation. “The presentation was quite useful in terms of giving us an indication of what is to be expected in the transportation sector. We as planners need to find new ideas to work around the transport systems in order to improve our City’s physical appearance, while conserving the environment at the same time,” remarked Ngcobo.

Download the IRPTN presentation by the Head of the ETA below:

IRPTN presentation.pdfIRPTN presentation.pdf

Also you might find the below link to a video about the Bogota Public Transit System interesting as suggested by Glen Robbins:

The Bogotas Public Transit System

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