The next major phase of the MyCiTi bus service, known as Phase 2A, will link Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Claremont and Wynberg at a cost of R8 billion.
Felicity Purchase, the former mayoral committee member for transport who is now the city council speaker, gave an online presentation, on Wednesday July 14, about the project and other transport issues in Cape Town.
Phase 1A of the City’s integrated public transport network, linking the CBD to Parklands, Table View area, was rolled out for the 2010 World Cup; Phase 2A was expected to serve 200 000 passengers a day and the infrastructure for dedicated bus lanes had been completed for routes in Jan Smuts Avenue, Athlone and Stock Road, Philippi, she said.
According to City spokesman Luthando Tyhalibongo, national government will fund the infrastructure, and two proposed MyCiTi bus routes will connect commuters from the south-east metro with Wynberg and Claremont. It is proposed that direct bus routes – with dedicated bus lanes – operate along Wetton, Ottery and South roads,
Construction is projected to be completed sometime in 2028 or 2029, but the first services are expected to roll out in 2024/2025, he says.
Phase 2A has been plagued by delays. One such sticking point is the so-called Brodie Road couplet – a plan to turn Brodie and Main roads into a set of parallel, one-way streets – in the hope of unclogging and revitalising Wynberg’s CBD.
In 2002, Wynberg residents protested against the proposed couplet saying it would affect struggling businesses and destroy many late-Victorian houses in the area.
In the online meeting with Ms Purchase, Ward 62 councillor Liz Brunette asked when the Brodie/Main Road-couplet would be built. Ms Purchase replied that its construction was under way at the moment.
Another sticking point surrounds plans to connect Ottery Road to the east with Main Road Wynberg to the west with an underpass on the southern railway line, using Waterbury and South roads.
In September 2014, 26 families in South Road, on the boundary of Wynberg east and Plumstead, received notices from the City to vacate their council-owned houses to make way for the MyCiTi Phase 2A bus route.
The residents, some of whom had been living in the area for more than four decades, argued that the City had planned the bus route without consulting the public.
In February 2015, Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, made public a detailed design of the proposed route alignments. The conceptual design did not include the Wynberg and Plumstead section because it was subject to a final court ruling.
In October 2015, the Western Cape High Court ordered the City to investigate alternative routes to the Brodie/ South roads couplet before proceeding with its Phase 2A MyCiTi bus project.
In March, 2016, the City approved the conceptual design of the MyCiTi route T12 between Mitchell’s Plain and Claremont and a portion of route T11 from Khayelitsha to the intersection of Strandfontein Road and New Ottery Road in Ottery.
In May 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissed an application by the South Road Families Association for special leave to appeal against a Western Cape High Court ruling that cleared the way for the next phase of the MyCiTi bus project (“Victory for City in MyCiTi route battle”, Bulletin, February 16, 2017).
Resident Richard Key asked Ms Purchase in the online meeting what was happening in Egglestone Road, Wynberg, with council homes there in poor condition. Ms Purchase said the houses would be demolished, “ as soon as possible”.
Responding to a question from Wynberg East Civic Association acting chairperson Yunus Karriem, Ms Purchase said empirical research had been done in Wynberg East to show the MyCiTi interchange would alleviate congestion.
And she told Anthea Serritslev, of the Philippi Economic Development Initiative, that Philippi was still a hub for MyCiTi.