PHOTO: Commuters travelling on the N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Cape Town were the first to benefit from the roll-out of the real-time updates about the MyCiTi bus departures. Picture: Courtney Africa
Cape Town – The City of Cape Town’s transport and urban development authority has made good progress with the reinstatement of the advanced public transport management system which will enable the MyCiTi control centre to track and monitor MyCiTi buses on the 40 MyCiTi routes across Cape Town, the city said on Sunday.
“It is anticipated that the MyCiTi control centre will be fully operational within the next two to three months once the hardware, software, and related systems, collectively known as the advanced public transport management system (APTMS), are fully reinstated,” mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron said.
“Once the APTMS is fully completed and we are satisfied with the outcome of the pilot phase, the MyCiTi control centre will be tracking and monitoring each and every MyCiTi bus across the city. We will therefore know the exact location of every bus at any given point in time,” he said.
“Furthermore, the control centre will be able to communicate directly with the drivers at any time, thereby being able to forewarn and divert them from any incident along the route. The system will enable us to keep track of delays and we will be able to inform commuters about the departure time of every bus on every route on the passenger information displays (PIDs) at all of the MyCiTi stations.
“Once fully operational, the APTMS will assist us in improving the service and communicating real-time information to our passengers,” Herron said.
The MyCiTi service currently covered 40 routes across the city with 42 stations and more than 700 bus stops. “Our fleet consists of 377 buses and covers nearly 1.5 million kilometres each month, transporting up to 68 010 passengers on a weekday.
Keeping track of every bus on every route will assist us in monitoring the vehicle operating companies’ schedule adherence, as well as bus driver behaviour and bus travelling speeds at any point in time,” Herron said.
The APTMS pilot, which started in September 2016 to conduct in situ testing, had been successfully completed, with the system now gradually being rolled out to include the remaining MyCiTi buses and routes.
“Nearly 40 percent of our MyCiTi fleet is now fitted with what we call advanced vehicle location hardware, with the software installed onto this hardware enabling us to track and monitor the MyCiTi buses, as well as communicate with the drivers from the MyCiTi control centre. Nearly 30 percent of the fleet is operational with network video recorder hardware and software, inclusive of CCTV cameras and CCTV camera displays.
“The footage recorded enables us to investigate all incidents involving our fleet. We are aiming to have the hardware and software installed on all of the buses during the next two to three months,” he said.
Commuters travelling on the N2 Express service between Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Cape Town were the first to benefit from the roll-out of the real-time updates about the MyCiTi bus departures.
The 555 bus drivers currently employed by the MyCiTi vehicle operating companies were being trained to operate the bus communication system which allowed them to be in constant voice contact with the MyCiTi control centre in Goodwood.
“The bus drivers who operate the buses along the N2 express routes in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha have been in direct communication with the MyCiTi control centre since September 2016 already. There have been several cases during these past months where bus drivers asked for assistance during emergencies and we were able to respond immediately,” Herron said.