Paper presented at the 31st Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2012 "Getting Southern Africa to Work", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The current level of service provision of public transport in Cape Town, as in other cities in South Africa, is inadequate and ineffective in meeting user needs. The ‘current (very
limited, modally fragmented) commuter based service’ is characterized by poor
performance in terms of travel times, reliability, capacity, safety and security. The aim of
this paper is to describe the study to assess the potential role of BRT in improving public
transport levels of service, particularly for the urban poor users of public transport in Cape Town.
A comparative analysis of current levels of public transport services versus predicted BRTbased IRT service levels was carried out to establish the changes that can be brought about to public transport level of service through changing to the BRT-based IRT system.
The level of service measures that were examined include: walking, in-vehicle and trip
distance; walking, waiting, in-vehicle and trip time; in-vehicle and trip speed; fare cost; and transfer requirement. The results indicate that the BRT-based IRT system is not clearly beneficial to the urban poor in the area of service levels improvements. While the poor commuters may benefit from more accessible, frequent and fast IRT services as well as reduced travel times, ironically, these will be more expensive and in some cases
unaffordable to them and therefore of no benefit to them. In order for the urban poor users of public transport to reap the full potential benefits of BRT, it is recommended that
appropriate measures to rationalize the BRT-based IRT system be adopted.
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