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Pretoria’s BRT System: How will it work?

The priority first phase BRT corridors identified for the City of Tshwane (CoT) are:

  • the northern corridor from the CBD towards Soshanguve and;
  • the eastern corridor to Mamelodi via Hatfield and Menlyn.

The BRT Line 1 (Northern Corridor) route originally followed a route from Paul Kruger Street to DF Malan and the R80 terminating in Mabopane.  This route was subsequently amended to run from Paul Kruger Street to Rachel De Beer Road, through Akasia, Doreen Road and terminate in Kopanong. The BRT Line 2 Route in general follows a route south-west from Mamelodi towards Menlyn, Hatfield, Sunnyside and the CBD.

The Inception phase (Phase 1A) trunk services will run between Paul Kruger Street in the CBD and Hatfield (return). The total length of the trunk line is approximately 7 km, and the peak hour headways are 5 minutes. This is expected to be operation by April 2014.

After the introduction of the inception phase (Phase 1A), the system to be introduced will comprise additional trunk busways between Rainbow Junction and the CBD, the CBD and Menlyn, and Menlyn and Denneboom Station (Phases 1B, 1C and 1D). The peak hour’s headways are between 3 and 5 minutes on the above routes. These trunk busways measure approximately 56 km. At the same time, complementary and feeder services will extend the system from Rainbow Junction through Akasia to Kopanong Station in Soshanguve.

The non-motorised transport (NMT) facilities within 500m (walking) and 2000m (cycling) of all feeder stations are to be provided or upgraded as part of the CoT BRT System.  This will include the provision of dedicated NMT facilities on primary desire lines approaching stations and will ensure that the BRT catchment area can be maximised.

Trunk services will operate on 3 to 5 minute frequencies during peak hours and the feeder services will operate on 15 minute frequencies. The initial operating hours are proposed to be from 05:30 to 20:30, 7 days a week, but this is subject to final review and consultation.

The Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) will provide operational support in two key areas; BRT Operations and Traffic Management. The BRT Operations area is further split into the BRT Control Centre operation (to manage the BRT services) and the Fare System (to manage revenue collection). The ticketing system will be based on bank cards (EMV) in line with national regulations.

Two types of buses will be purchased for the BRT fleet:

  • 18m articulated buses that can carry approximately 90 persons seated and standing. These will be used on the trunk routes that require high passenger capacity; and
  • Standard 12m buses that can carry approximately 60 persons seated and standing.

These buses will be used for the feeder and complementary services, where lower capacities are required.

Within the above configurations, some of the 12m Standard Buses will be powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Subject only to final testing, the BRT System will be first system in South Africa that will utilize CNG as part of its system. All buses will be low-floor with level boarding bridges providing universal access as well as greater efficiency through reduced boarding and alighting times. The BRT stations will be used by low-floor buses and thus the height of the station floor will reduce from approximately 940mm (for high floor) to 340mm, which will reduce the impact of the station on the urban streetscape.

 

 

Information courtesy of the City of Tshwane Spatial Planning Department and Transport Department

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Rashiq Fataar

Founder and MD at Future Cape Town

Rashiq Fataar is the founder, Editor in Chief and Managing Director of Future Cape Town.