“Bike riding and
non-motorised transport are important aspects of the vision of an integrated
public transport network across the city, providing local connections and
helping to make Cape Town a ‘liveable city’,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee
Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.
The City will begin a
study in July to determine whether or not it is feasible to launch a programme
where bicycles are readily available for hire by members of the public. This
would create a network of publicly available bicycles within defined areas in
the city where people can hire a bicycle from one location and return it to any
other location in the network.
“Cities around the world are beginning to identify
bike-sharing as a mode of public transport, providing an alternative to
individual vehicle trips. Transport for Cape Town – the City’s recently
launched transport authority – has commissioned an investigation on the
feasibility of a bike-share service and to provide guidance on the best business
model for our city.
“While we are inspired by services such as London’s Barclays
Bikes, Paris’s Velib and Washington DC’s Capital Bikes, Cape Town is a city in
a developing country with vastly different socio-economic circumstances. We
need an operating model that will work here. The feasibility study will address
the financial and operating structures that are available for us to implement
best practice from the rest of the world locally,” said Councillor Herron.
How it will work
The feasibility study will also consider whether a smartcard
payment system, such as the myconnect card currently in operation on the MyCiTi
buses, could be used for this project. This kind of electronic payment system
would allow the City to monitor the use of the bicycles, to be able to make
improvements to the system in the future.
A number of advantages and benefits to successful bike-share
schemes have been identified, including the fact that the programme:
- Improves the health and wellness of residents who are
encouraged to increase physical activity;
- Improves mobility and access for residents;
- Provides improved connectivity between various transit modes
and acts as a feeder service to motorised transit services;
- Provides an affordable alternative to cars and other forms
of public transport;
- Boosts retail exposure and activity;
- Reduces parking demands;
- Reduces carbon emissions;
- Reduces traffic congestion.
“A Cape Town
bike-share service should offer affordable access to bikes, especially for
short distance trips. In conjunction with our expanding cycle lane network, a
successful bicycle sharing service will reduce traffic congestion, the need for
on-street parking, fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Obviously, cycling will
also contribute to the health and well-being of our residents,” said Councillor