Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA: Plans to position Cape Town as a ‘laboratory for urban mobility in a developing world’ have been presented at an industry briefing on the city’s vision for a New Generation Technologies strategic framework and Integrated Ticketing Business Plan.

‘We have got a whole lot of innovation advantages in the country which we can leverage, including our sophisticated banking system, our many ICT innovators and the unique and pervasive minibus taxi industry’, said David Schmidt of professional services company Zutari, which is supporting Cape Town city council on the project.

The New Generation Technologies strategic framework aims to ‘creatively and systematically’ use developments such as ride hailing and routing mobile apps as well as latest advances in connectivity, data collection and analytics to significantly change how the passenger and freight transport sectors function.

This would better align supply with demand, and improve inclusion, affordability and sustainability.

The Integrated Ticketing Business Plan includes a move to account based ticketing, which would support open payments to improve access to transport.

The key objectives are that a future ticketing system should be:

  • easy and convenient to use;
  • support a range of fare structures and products;
  • integrated across modes;
  • operable across multiple independent providers;
  • support ongoing improvements;
  • provide customers with information and choice;
  • cost effective;
  • built incrementally;
  • flexible, agile and robust;
  • legally compliant.

Local factors which will need to be taken into account include Cape Town’s ‘incomplete’ public transport network, poverty and inequality, formal and informal transport, fragmentation and limited resources, as well as the uncertainty around economic recovery, financial realities and social shifts following Covid-19.

As such the city authority is unable to make big investments in unproven technologies, but also believes that ‘cutting and pasting’ technology from elsewhere in the world will not provide a ‘magic bullet’ for local needs.