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Some issues of public transport system governance, planning and regulation in South African cities Peter Wilkinson School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics.

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Presentation on theme: "Some issues of public transport system governance, planning and regulation in South African cities Peter Wilkinson School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Some issues of public transport system governance, planning and regulation in South African cities Peter Wilkinson School of Architecture, Planning & Geomatics University of Cape Town ▪ Private Bag X3 ▪ RONDEBOSCH 7701 ▪ ) South African Cities Network : Seminar on Sustainable Public Transport Cape Town : August 2008 Centre for Transport Studies

2 Preliminary remarks ‘ commuter-led transit planning’ – what should it mean? presumably, not full-on ‘collaborative’ or ‘deliberative’ planning in the sense of decision-making through public argumentation employed by (some) planning theorists … rather, an approach to planning which: –recognises actual (rather than assumed) mobility needs and constraints of (differentiated) public transport user groups –seeks to actively solicit and respond to users’ views at various stages or moments of planning process –monitors effectiveness of service provision and adjusts planning and regulatory action to accommodate changing context i.e. attempts to operationalise established commitments to instituting ‘customer facing’ provision (embodied in Moving South Africa strategic framework,1999) and ‘user-oriented’ public transport networks (re-articulated in NDoT Public Transport Strategy, 2006)

3 Current institutional framework governing provision of public transport services … highly fragmented and incoherently configured system: modes not integrated or even effectively coordinated … planning disconnected from regulation and operational management, as well as from public funding streams required to implement systemic transformation

4 Institutional reform proposed in National Land Transport Bill (2008) … functions of planning and regulating road-based public transport services plus management of subsidised (and commercial) service contracts to be consolidated at local level in major cities (DPA/TA) to facilitate installation of IRPTNs … existing rail functions to remain in place – to be coordinated at local level through inter-modal planning committees’ … minibus-taxi operations to be incorporated into IRPTNs as feeder services or absorbed into new BRT or other scheduled service operating entities

5 Schematic diagram of possible ‘integrated rapid public transport network’ line-haul services (road- or rail-based) embedded in higher density, mixed land use development corridors express services operating between major nodes feeder services connecting to line-haul and express service stations or interchanges ‘transit-oriented development’ precincts around major stations or interchanges ?

6 Proposed IRPTN for Cape Town (February 2007) Phase 1 includes inner city system and West Coast and CTI airport links (+ associated feeder services?) estimated cost to establish ‘full BRT’ system for Phase 1: R2.9 billion

7 Some governance issues raised by proposed transformation of public transport systems (1) three primary aspects/dimensions of public transport system transformation: –technical: complex operational design and management issues to be resolved in planning and installing fully integrated system to enable ‘seamless’ passage by users (routing, scheduling, vehicle selection, ticketing, etc) –financial: establishing appropriate funding/contractual arrangements i.t.o. –provision/maintenance of necessary infrastructure (and possibly addition/replacement of vehicle fleets or rolling stock) –possible operational subsidies (to supplement appropriate and sustainable tariff/fare structure) –institutional: developing appropriate framework for system governance (where ‘governance’ = direction/management achieved through self-organising interorganisational or stakeholder networks)

8 Some governance issues raised by proposed transformation of public transport systems (2) resolving governance issue is probably most problematic, given disparate, currently disordered array of ‘stakeholders’ involved: –formal (private and parastatal sector) operators –partially ‘formalised’ /regulated minibus-taxi operators – significantly disaffected, prone to wildcat interventions –agencies in all three spheres of government (NDoT, PDoT, municipality/TA) –(various) public transport user groups – at present largely ‘voiceless’, occasionally venting frustration in violent protests … plus need to interact with other ‘stakeholders’ in broader urban transport system, including: –freight transport operators –private transport users (motorists and motorcyclists) –the NMT constituency (pedestrians and cyclists ) … others: land use/spatial development planning agencies with their own constituencies of stakeholders?

9 Some governance issues raised by proposed transformation of public transport systems (3) formation of local DPA/TA may be a necessary, but in and of itself is unlikely to be a sufficient condition for effective governance in context of proposed systemic transformation  what institutional framework would enable adoption of more collaborative/interactive approach? –representation on local ‘land transport advisory boards’ should be broadened beyond ‘government’ and ‘private sector’ (as specified in NLT Bill) to include other stakeholders – certainly PT users and operators –LTAB mandates should be framed to include consideration of issues related to planning and regulation, as well as routine operation, of public transport system –monitoring and evaluation of transformation programme outcomes should be reported to, and considered, by LTABs on an ongoing basis

10 Some governance issues raised by proposed transformation of public transport systems (4) involvement of MBT operators in transformation programme is likely to prove particularly problematic: –justified or not, widely-shared perception is that programme is being imposed ‘top-down’ without adequate consultation or recognition of de facto rights (“we developed and own the routes … and we did it with no assistance or subsidy from government”) –established ‘informal’ operating practices and business models may be hard for more ‘survivalist’ stratum within industry to abandon in favour of ‘formalised’ and highly structured management and control systems required for scheduling and monitoring IRPTN operations (“we don’t want to change …”  potential ‘spoiling’ role a key concern for international operators and banks considering involvement in programme –possibility that significant job-shedding will occur as currently overtraded (and largely underquklaified) MBT sector is incorporated into rationalised and scheduled IRPTNs

11 Conclusion: no easy road or quick fix ahead? initial phases in implementing IRPTN programmes will require intensive negotiation and careful (possibly lengthy) preparation if (some?) disaffected MBT operators are not to emerge as disruptive ‘spoilers’ … ‘Day 1’ failure could set transformational project back several years at present, first phases of programme appear to have been ‘fast- tracked’, presumably to meet ‘host city’ expectations associated with holding of 2010 World Cup event … not clear that this is sensible, particularly given the extended (10- year plus?) delay in getting to this point, at which the absolute necessity of transforming public transport systems in the major cities has finally been recognised  overarching objective must be to accommodate routine, everyday mobility needs of resident populations rather than those of transient visitors: emphasis on ‘catalysing’ role of 2010 preparations should not be allowed to deflect attention from this more fundamental and strategically central requirement


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