Cape Town is known for its beautiful oceans, majestic Winelands – and, unfortunately, also for its bad traffic and parking pressures. And it’s sadly not getting better any time soon. Deemed South Africa’s most congested city, Cape Town traffic is a big cause of concern for locals and travellers. Peak traffic times have increased from two to four hours in the past decade alone.
What is currently being done?
The City of Cape Town Municipality has tackled the issue head-on, albeit, with a lot of criticism. Cape Town is lined with narrow streets and an influx of people relocating to the City. As a result, traffic has increased over the years, and a shortage of parking spaces has arisen. The local municipality has committed R750 million to be allocated towards the Congestion Management Programme (CMP). Although the old-style narrow roads appear to be part of the problem, the CMP spokesperson has stated that broadening roads would defeat the point, as broader spaces will attract more vehicles. In essence, this solution would lead to a repetitive cycle of more private vehicles on the roads, more drivers, and more traffic.
Developers in the area have taken to bringing various apps to the public which function as a queueing system – drivers can see the status of parking spaces in the area at a minimal fee. This saves time, fuel and frustration; however, it does not help with the increasing population and the fundamental issues that the private car has on the environment.
The Cape Town Municipality has developed a Parking Policy applicable within city bounds, indicating the gravity of the issue. The Policy provides guidelines which seek to reduce private car use and dependency and seeks to apply tariffs, where applicable, to public parking spaces. To combat parking issues, the Municipality’s CMP has made five proposals, which includes: the extension of dedicated lanes, the implementation of Park and Ride solutions, encouraging flexible working hours, enforcing a congestion charge or fuel levy, and promoting alternative means of transport, such as travelling by bicycle.
What other solutions are there?
Municipalities have proposed a number of solutions to this growing issue. However, none of the solutions really tackle the problem at its core. Extending dedicated lanes may ease traffic congestion but would not directly address parking difficulties. Park and Ride plans have already been introduced which might be an effective and modern means of alleviating the predicament of parking, but this does not solve the issue at its core. What happens if there are no parking bays available? Drivers may well resort to the same parking behaviours as before. Nonetheless, the Municipality has put out a tender for a parking pricing and management system to be concluded and managed with time. When it comes to paid parking meters, they tend to be inefficient. Monitoring them is difficult and does not place a measure of accountability on drivers. They may be more inclined to pay when municipal workers are around carrying portable meters and card machines, which only tends to be the case in certain congestion-prone locations.
The final three solutions may be most effective in dealing with the factors underlying these parking problems. Promoting employers to create a system of flexible working hours will place less pressure on the City’s parking dilemma. Traffic congestion will reduce, and peak times will be shorter. To maintain productivity, a ‘core working hour’ strategy will be implemented whereby employees will be expected to be at work between set times, leaving the remainder of the workday to be managed and allocated as shifts among staff. However, this challenges labour legislation and therefore creates a new issue that would need addressing. Even with shift work in place, the number of employees on the roads for each respective shift does not significantly reduce the problem. And on the other hand, some companies simply may not be able to operate by introducing shifts.
The solution to charge an increased fuel levy or charge above the existing tax will most likely attract a mound of criticism. The City of Cape Town has received praise for preventing Sanral from building a toll within its vicinity, as experience in Gauteng with regard to e-tolls. Nonetheless, the CMP proposes a congestion tax, or levy increase, to ensure that the City still receives public financing to meet its traffic reduction and parking creation targets. There is little doubt that the introduction of a further tax will be met with similar adversity within South Africa.
Lastly, the proposition of implementing a “bike-share” project similar to Amsterdam, and a number of other European cities, does not suit the South African landscape or economy. Few participants will have the resources to pay the upfront deposit which is only refunded after quite some time. Regardless, the current cycling routes are erratic and not well aligned with most workplaces.
So why not go with Zeelo?
Our proposed solution is personalised shared transportation. Zeelo overcomes the issues and proposes a better solution to suit the interests of all parties involved through its stress-free travel option. Employees are plagued by high travel costs with 67% of workers considering refusing a job due to travel costs. The good news is that Zeelo counters problems surrounding a high carbon footprint, and at the same time provides the best solution for all employees to travel to work.
Zeelo uses data to generate smart routes for businesses based in congested areas or overcrowded city centres. By using data, Zeelo can map the most cost-effective and efficient routes to ensure the greatest number of commuters are serviced at the lowest possible cost. Commuters who were once stuck behind the wheel in grid-locked traffic, can now sit back and relax on their way to work in a luxury Zeelo coach or catch up on emails by using the complimentary onboard wifi. Other benefits of Zeelo include a state-of-the-art booking platform, live vehicle tracking and 24/7 customer support. Get in touch with Zeelo today
With a foreseeable increased population, there is no doubt that Cape Town is under pressure to adapt to societal and environmental needs. The lingering parking issues of the City are best overcome when using Zeelo to manage effective transport for your business.