Durban 2010 : Solving World Class Transport Problems

By Kemantha Govender

Durban - The eThekwini Municipality has confirmed that plans are on track to improve Durban's public transport system ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Carlos Esteves, eThekwini Municipality's deputy head of the Road System Management said the improved public transport system would be operational in June.

Government has injected almost R1.2 billion into Durban's public transport project to encourage the use of public vehicles especially during the World Cup.

These plans included additional dedicated public transport lanes, upgrades to major intersections and a freeway management system.

Additional plans have been put in place to cater for around the 200 000 people expected to descend in Durban on the seven match days.

There will be an inner city distribution system, park and ride facilities using existing car parks and buses, a closed-circuit television road monitoring system and a traffic call centre.

"There will also be park and ride stops around the city served by a dedicated shuttle service. Pedestrians will be able to walk from the transport hub to the stadium and fan park along pathways where more trees will be planted and better lighting and security provided," Esteves said.

Park and Ride facilities will be provided at Gateway in the north, Pavilion in the west and Galleria in the south and will terminate at the Central Transport Hub (CTH). The shuttle service will be operational everyday from June 6 until July 11, from 9am to 2am.

The cost of the shuttle service is R10 per person.

"Further there is a basic shuttles service on match days linking the CTH to the Stadium precinct for elderly or others who might not be able to walk the Fan Mile. An accessibility bus (Sukuma Bus) will connect the Park and Rides to the CTH, Fanpark and the stadium on Durban match days but only at two specific times before and after the matches," Esteves said.

There will also be shuttle services provided from the new King Shaka International Airport, expected to be operational in May, to the CTH.

The airport shuttle, which will cost R50 per person, will run from June 6 until July 16, every 10 to 15 minutes and will be operational during airport hours.

Seven rail stations in eThekwini are equipped to accommodate people with special needs.

These include the KwaMashu, Duffs Road, Moses Mabhida, Durban, Rossburgh Station, Reunion Station and Isipingo stations.

Esteves said security was also being beefed up at railway stations and that all rail corridors were being secured.

"In addition, security control measures will be in place at all park and ride facilities. CCTV will also be expanded to improve vigilance," he said.

A series of priority pedestrian routes have also been identified and are being upgraded.

All existing services will operate their normal services during the event unless there are traffic restrictions or road closures for the event.

The city's residents will be able to access information regarding public transport services via a new Public Transport Call Centre.

There will also be information points throughout the city regarding public transport services.
Extensive parking will be available within a distance of approximately two and a half to three kilometers from both the Stadium and Fan Parks. These are grouped into the following 3 categories:

Berea Parking: Parking will be available, largely on street, on the Berea, west of Umgeni Road.

City Parking: Off street parking will be available at parking garages and on-street parking is available within the Inner City.

Beach Parking: Parking will be available, largely on-street and along the Beach. This area is a managed zone, and is subject to access restrictions.

All metered taxis will continue to operate their services as normal and additional metered taxi ranks are to be established at the central transport hub, Suncoast Casino and South Beach, at Addington.

In terms of road closures, Esteves said around the Fanpark all routes can be accessed as normal. On Match days these roads will be closed at midday and only permit holders will have access.

"On other key days, namely when SA plays, quarter, semi and finals, the entry points will be managed and situation monitored from 12 onwards and may be closed depending on congestion.
"If you need access guaranteed for business/resident reasons then must apply for a permit," said Esteves.

- BuaNews