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Major revamp for Wynberg public transport interchange on the cards

The City of Cape Town has developed a concept plan for the major refurbishment of the Wynberg public transport interchange (PTI). The current facility is rundown, and stretched way beyond its capacity with nearly 48 000 commuters, 1 500 minibus-taxis and GABS buses making use of the PTI on a daily basis. This concept plan will be available for public comment from 7 November 2022 to 9 December 2022.

‘With the imminent upgrade of the PTI comes a substantial capital injection that will have an immediate impact on the Wynberg CBD and surrounding neighbourhood. This will spur much needed rejuvenation in conjunction with the provision of world-class public transport facilities. Officials from the Urban Mobility Directorate are presenting the proposed concept design for the refurbishment to the local subcouncil today, and residents and interested parties will have the opportunity to comment on this plan from 7 November 2022 to 9 December 2022,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.

The Wynberg PTI is located in the vicinity of the Wynberg railway station, with thousands of minibus-taxis holding in Morom Road in particular.
The concept design for the refurbished PTI proposes two minibus-taxi facilities:

The upgraded facilities will be located to the north and east of the Wynberg railway station
A new facility with two levels, located between Brisbane Road and Morom Road, bordering Wetton and Broad Roads. The ground level of the facility is for minibus-taxis serving the Cape Town CBD and the upper level is for minibus-taxis serving the metro-south east
An upgraded single level facility, located between Ottery Road and the railway line, for minibus-taxis serving destinations in Grassy Park and the South
Two stations for the future MyCiTi service, located along Station Road, and a realigned Sussex Road
Drop-off and pick-up points for GABS buses
‘The concept design pursues a vision for a Wynberg PTI that is modern, functional, efficient, convenient, safe, dignified and clean and where commuters can easily transfer between the different modes of transport, from passenger rail to minibus-taxis, GABS, and the MyCiTi service.

‘The current PTI is in a poor state, partly because of a lack of investment in prior years, and also because the facility is not nearly big enough to accommodate all of the commuters and operators using this space. The surrounding transport infrastructure – these are the roads and walkways – is old, and insufficient for the traffic volume, be it for pedestrians, or vehicles.

‘Commuters and operators are subjected to sun, rain, wind all year long as there is no protection from the elements. Even the paving is uneven.

‘The proposed concept design aims to address all of these challenges, while at the same time making provision for the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to Wynberg within the next few years. We want to create a pleasant and dignified environment which will encourage potential customers, besides commuters, to visit the area.

‘It is an exciting project, and I’m sure commuters, operators, local residents and business owners will support our efforts in giving this part of Wynberg a significant capital injection,’ said Councillor Quintas.
The current situation at the Wynberg PTI:

Nearly 48 000 commuters use the facility on weekdays
About 1 500 minibus-taxis and GABS buses operate to and from the facility
The facility is a central point for commuters travelling to and from 30 destinations across Cape Town, from the CBD to Hout Bay, the metro-south east and the Southern suburbs
The current facility is stretched way beyond capacity with no formal holding area for the minibus-taxis between the peak-hour periods
The surrounding streets are congested to a point where traffic flow is nearly impossible for both minibus-taxis and other vehicles
Pedestrian safety is compromised as the existing walkways or sidewalks cannot accommodate the large numbers
Anti-social behaviour and urban blight are common features, given that the area is under immense pressure due to capacity constraints
Facts about the proposed refurbishment of the Wynberg PTI:

The new upgraded facilities will be located to the north and east of the Wynberg railway station
It will cover an area of approximately 25 000m², with additional bus and walking and cycling lanes, road upgrades, hard and soft landscaping
It will add sufficient capacity to accommodate the current and projected demands for public transport users and operators
It will include holding areas for minibus-taxis between peak-hour periods
It will include offices, washing facilities, ablutions, security and cleaning services for the minibus-taxi operators
It will include ablution facilities and universally accessible walkways and ramps for commuters, covered loading lanes and waiting areas
It will ensure commuters can seamlessly and conveniently transfer between passenger rail, minibus-taxis, GABS, and the MyCiTi bus service
It will improve general safety and security through design elements, and additional lighting
It will include facilities for traders on the ground floor and first levels to coincide with pedestrian movement – thus, having the traders where the most visitors are. A trading plan will be developed by Economic Development, in conjunction with the local traders
The facility will include a MyCiTi station and holding bays on both the east and west side of the Wynberg railway station and Prasa railway tracks
The facility will include holding and loading bays for GABS
Proposed upgrades to surrounding roads:

The vehicle underpass under the railway tracks and its access ramps will be turned into a pedestrian only-zone
The existing pedestrian underpass under the railway tracks to the south of the railway station will be upgraded
Maynard Road between Main and Station Roads will be pedestrian friendly
The link between Morom and Station Roads will be closed at Church Street
Sussex Road, past the existing eastern taxi facility, will be realigned to allow more space for the new eastern minibus-taxi facility
The northern end of Sussex Road will be realigned into Bexhill Road to facilitate access to the Wynberg Mosque
The realigned intersection of Sussex and Ottery Roads will be signalised
The intersection of Morom and Wetton Roads may be signalised, pending further investigations
A west-to-north right-turn lane will be added to Broad Road at the Broad and Brisbane Roads intersection
The realigned Sussex Road will be a one-way southbound, reserved for buses
Maynard Road, currently a one-way westbound, will be converted to a one-way eastbound
Church Street, between Main Road and Station Road, currently a one-way eastbound, will be converted to a one-way westbound
‘Currently, due to the capacity constraints, minibus-taxis are obstructing walkways. Given that the new PTI will provide holding facilities, this will no longer happen and the whole area will be turned into a pedestrian-friendly environment with universally accessible walkways under cover, where possible. We will use design elements to improve safety and security, and with additional lighting we will create a safe and dignified space.

‘The proposed one-way conversions, and upgraded intersections will assist with traffic flow, and smoothen the road-based public transport services to ensure efficient operations.

‘The minibus-taxi operators will greatly benefit. Each operator from the West-North; West-South; and East, will have their own dedicated operations area, with their own facilities and dedicated entrance and exit routes. There will be sufficient space for ranking, drop-and-go, and parking between peaks. This over and above facilities to meet, rest, and so forth.

‘Given that the concept design must still be finalised after public consultation, we do not know as yet the exact budget to be allocated to the new facility, but it will halt the urban decay that has affected this part of the Wynberg CBD for a long time. I trust the minibus-taxi operators will welcome the plan as the new facilities will bring order and flow to their operations, saving them time and money.

‘The investment will have a positive impact on local businesses, and all other visitors using the roads or pedestrianised areas. As this rejuvenation expands, the whole of Wynberg sets to benefit, inclusive of local residents and property owners.

‘We will present this plan to residents and other interested parties in November. This concept design is not final, and we will definitely assess all of the comments and proposals we receive from stakeholders and residents, and interested and affected parties in coming weeks,’ said Councillor Quintas.

If all goes as planned, the detailed design should be concluded by the end of 2023, taking into account the comments submitted by the public on the concept design.

Caption: The first map indicates the current location of the public transport facilities in Wynberg. The second and third map indicate the proposed new locations and layout of the public transport services, and surrounding streets. More details will be made available on 7 November 2022 when the public participation process commences.

Source: City Of Cape Town