In August the City of Cape Town will begin with construction on water- and electricity-wise MyCiTi bus depots for Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha.
The depots are part of the expansion of the MyCiTi bus service to the metro-south east. Local residents and subcontractors from the surrounding communities will also benefit from temporary employment opportunities and contracts as part of this 32-month long construction project.
The two new MyCiTi bus depots will be built on a 15 hectare piece of land on the corner of Mew Way and Spine Road. The site is situated between Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha and is ideally located for when the MyCiTi bus service starts operating in these areas.
The first construction work will be visible by mid-August, and it is anticipated that the depots will be completed by mid-2025, if all goes as planned.
“The City’s expenditure on the roll-out of the MyCiTi service to the metro-south east is the biggest financial investment in public transport by any metro city to date. With the expansion of the MyCiTi service, we will be bringing more MyCiTi routes to Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha to connect commuters with Claremont and Wynberg,” said the City’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.
“This is a mammoth undertaking and we are doing it in phases. Residents from these areas will see new infrastructure being built in the coming 36 months, be it with the widening of roads, MyCiTi stations and stops, and depots needed to operate the service,“ he said.
“I am proud to say that the new bus depots in the metro-south east will be state-of-the-art facilities, designed to use our scarce and limited resources to maximum benefit,” he said.
The depot buildings will be orientated and shaped in response to the sun’s direction, and use saw tooth roofs to channel reflective light into the buildings to minimise the need for artificial light.
Motion sensors will be linked to all internal lighting to keep electricity usage to a minimum. The designers also took care to orient the buildings for optimal sunlight and wind direction so the need for air conditioning will be limited as well, making the buildings more energy efficient, he said.
As for water, they estimate that up to 80% of the water to be used at the bus washing facility will be recycled.
“We will harvest rain water from the roofs, and install water-wise toilets with water flow control. These elements demonstrate the City’s innovative approach to improve our resilience and efficiency, and to mitigate the impact on our natural and limited resources in the midst of climate change,”said Mr Hill-Lewis.
Sustainable urban drainage systems in the form of permeable paving have also been incorporated at the large bus staging areas to allow for the recharging of the underground water table.
“Temporary employment and training opportunities to the value of at least R22 million will be available to local job seekers,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for urban mobility, Rob Quintas.
“Also, the contract between the City and the construction company stipulates that local subcontractors should be contracted to supply goods and services to the value of R40.8 million.
“Thus, our local communities will have the opportunity to earn an income while this construction project is ongoing, and hopefully this injection will give them a foothold in the market.”
The bus depots will provide a secure site where buses can be held while not operating, infrastructure for maintenance, fuelling, and washing, office administration facilities for the bus operating companies and facilities for drivers to rest and eat between shifts.
“We are working day and night to improve our public transport service offering to Capetonians and communities from the metro-south east in particular. This offering includes the expansion of the MyCiTi service footprint,” said Mr Quintas.
“Public transport should be accessible, convenient, affordable, reliable and safe. We are committed to these goals,“ he said.
“Improved mobility means improved productivity, more jobs and economic growth, and better lives and futures for all of us who call Cape Town home.
“We are excited about this construction project and I want to call on the local communities to support our efforts, and to make use of the opportunities that will be provided as part of the City’s investment in this area,” said Mr Quintas.