Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 7-10 July 2014 "Leading Transport into the Future", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) completed the update and reissue of its National Strategic Plan in 2012. As part of this process PRASA recognised that its classic offering of high capacity heavy rail services was not appropriate for all corridors, and that alternative modes may offer more suitable capability.
Analysis of a large range of comparator systems across the world was undertaken to determine the key characteristics of a range of rail and road based transport modes. The findings adapted to South African conditions and presented in a tabular format. This Technology Choice Framework was used to inform stakeholders as to the options PRASA could offer.
PRASA used this framework to analyse each corridor. Evidence is presented describing this analysis in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), and the conclusion that Light Rail Transport (LRT) would provide a better option for the longer term for the lesser used corridors. Building on this core vision a concept has been developed for a wider network that serves the city centre, and creates urban redevelopment opportunities in the city centre and harbour area following the transfer of port activity further west.
This is an example of PRASA’s approach, worked up in conjunction with local stakeholders, to determine future development options appropriate to local needs, and through objective assessment of the most suitable transport technology.
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