Integrated rapid transport: is the city of Cape Town utilising its full potential?
The spatial structure of Cape Town is characterised by segregated low density development patterns and urban sprawling. With a high population growth rate and urbanisation, these patterns are becoming more prominent. Due to the spatial nature of Cape Town, a large proportion of economic activities and employment opportunities are concentrated in patches across the city. In order to combat low-density sprawl and integrate spatially separated areas the key concept ?city densification? and the various elements thereof emerged. The segregated low density city structure, the concentrated nature of economic and employment opportunities along with an ever increasing population and inadequate public transport system resulted in issues such as long average travel lengths, low accessibility by poorer communities, greater use of private vehicles, and a sharp rise in traffic congestion. With the implementation of the Integrated Rapid Transport System (IRT), an initiative to transform the public transport sector to integrate all modal options, the opportunity is rendered to address these environmental, social and economical issues. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the City of Cape Town (CoCT) is utilising the full potential of the new Integrated Transport System currently being developed and implemented in Cape Town, namely the MyCiTi BRT System. It was determined that in terms of potential environmental benefits the CoCT, is utilising its full potential. Furthermore, although the potential social benefits were being utilised, the urgency of addressing social inequality is not reflected in the phased timeframe set out for the system. In terms of economic benefits, the options of using land-value add and environmental finance currently not sufficiently utilised and should be used to encourage a more sustainable public transport system.