_: Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Dr Ismail Vadi, today released a 25-Year Integrated Transport Master Plan (ITMP25) in Ekurhuleni to ensure province-wide mobility in future for all residents.
“The ITMP25 proposes a radical paradigm shift in spatial and transport planning. It’s a point of departure from apartheid spatial planning, land use and mobility patterns, and ushers in an innovative way of structuring our future societal development,” said Vadi.
He added that the plan sets out a “strategic framework” to better the lives of residents, stimulate economic growth and render the province as an attractive destination for investment and tourism.
The 25 year plan, developed by an inter-disciplinary team of experts led by Gautrain CEO Jack van der Merwe, provides an assessment of the current transport and land-use challenges. It also forecasts economic and population growth scenarios, which have been used to plan the future transport needs and solutions in the province.
Van der Merwe reported that the ITMP25 predicts that Gauteng’s population will increase from the current 12.3 million residents to 18.7 million and its working population will grow to 8.6 million, thereby increasing the passenger trips to approximately 25 million per day. This will result in serious traffic congestion.
To facilitate the implementation of the ITMP25, eight mutually supportive “strategic interventions” have been identified. These interventions are arranged into the following four clusters with its associated interventions:
1. Land Use Development
Subsidised housing provision within urban core areas
Land use densification in support of public transport
2. Strategic Public Transport Network
Mainstreaming non-motorised transport (NMT)
Reinforcing passenger rail network as the backbone of the system
Extending the integrated rapid and road-based public transport networks
3. Freight Transport
Strengthening freight hubs
4. Road Transport
Travel demand management
Continued provincial wide mobility.
Vadi emphasised that as the provincial public transport system is expanded residents should adopt a shift in transport modes from motorised to non-motorised trips; private to public transport, and from road to rail.
“Given the prospect of the population growing to 18.7 million and a sharp increase in the use of privately-owned cars, residents of Gauteng would live through the nightmarish scenario of unparalleled traffic gridlocks,” said Vadi.
The ITMP25 therefore prioritised public transport with the rail system being the backbone of the network. This will enable a shift from private vehicles to public and non-motorised transport that will reduce congestion, enhance efficiency and promote sustainability. This means planning for the transport of people and considering person trips as opposed to vehicle trips.
The modelled forecasts indicate that the cost of “doing nothing” will be severe and increasingly impact on the built and natural environment; the sustainability of the Gauteng Global City Region’s economy, and the quality of life of all its residents.
By continuing with the existing trends and not intervening in the present urban structure and the manner in which land is developed; not changing people’s travel patterns and choices, and not investing in more friendly technologies, Gauteng would increasingly become a far less pleasant and unhealthy urban area to live in.
Vadi also pointed out that strengthening freight rail and the movement of long-haul freight from road to rail is a key departure point, which includes the focus on the development of major rail-based freight logistic hubs located on the periphery of the core urban areas.
The ITMP25 also includes references to aviation and cross-cutting transport system elements such as Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS); sustainable (“green”) transport, and the construction of new freeways.
Possible longer-term funding options and institutional arrangements to successfully deliver on the proposed plan were also developed. It proposes the establishment of a province-wide transport authority and a fourfold increase in funding for transport infrastructure over the period.
Implementing the eight strategic interventions and other recommendations proposed by the ITMP25 would work towards achieving an integrated and efficient transport system that promotes sustainable economic growth, skills development and job creation; fosters quality of life; socially includes all communities, and preserves the environment, said Vadi.
The ITMP25 Steering Committee was led by Mr Jack van der Merwe (Gautrain CEO) and composed of Professor Jackie Walters (University of Johannesburg); Dr John Sampson (Independent Transport Specialist); Dr Bridget Ssamula (Independent Expert); Ms Jane Barrett (COSATU); Ms Noxolo Maninjwa (Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport); Dr Vuyo Mahlati (University of Pretoria); Mr Dries van der Walt (PRASA); Mr Jeffrey Mashele (Gauteng Development Fund); Mr Nazir Alli (SANRAL), Ms Yolisa Mashilwane (Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality); Ms Lisa Seftel (City of Johannesburg) and Ms Imelda Matlawe (City of Tshwane).