Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

New guidelines have been developed to steer the planning and implementation of public transport infrastructure within district municipalities to ensure the continuity and consistency of deployment approaches.

Engineering consulting firm GIBB, in conjunction with the Department of Transport, had set out the minimum parameters that should be incorporated within integrated public transport network (IPTN) plans.

The lack of coordination or integration, along with poor transport infrastructure and an inconsistent development approach within district municipalities, denied publictransport users access to the socioeconomic opportunities and basic services emerging from an integrated transportsystem.

“The challenge is to balance the economic and social drive to improve people’s lives with a more efficient andsustainable transport system. Funding implications dictate it is necessary that district municipalities follow an integrated planning approach,” GIBB senior transport engineer Tobie Pretorius said on Friday.

These guidelines, which would “direct authorities” on effective planning to provide a coordinated formal publictransport service, provided advice on status quo assessments; operational planning; integrated fare management system and integrated transport systems; business and financial plans; communications and marketing; and monitoring and evaluations.

The directives, developed by GIBB’s traffic and transport planning business unit, included the situational analysis of transport, socioeconomic conditions, demographic characteristics and land use environments in the municipality to inform the development of the IPTN operational plan, Pretorius commented.

“The operational plan identifies the key public transport system characteristics required for a successful IPTN, which will include a demand analysis, the required network structure, vehicle requirements, nonmotorised transport planning and design, [as well as the] location and the size of the associatedinfrastructure,” explained Pretorius.

The strategies outlined the benefits – and approach – of implementing integrated fare systems to make public transport more integrated and accessible and ensuring effective monitoring and tracking to test the performance of services and vehicles.

“The next step in articulating a clear strategy will be the development of the business plan chapter, which includes detailed planning and design of required public transport interventions identified in the IPTN and importantly, a plan for the implementation of the identified projects,” he said.

Further, the development of a financial plan, to determine the required funding to build, operate, manage and maintain the public transport services and systems, in addition to ongoing stakeholder and public engagement and a clear marketing strategy, were essential.

The monitoring and evaluation section delivered advice on an essential management tool to keep track of the planning process, measure implementation, ensure that targets were met and review the performance of the service, Pretorius concluded.