For more than 14 years, Aurecon has been a part of guiding improvements to the public transport network in and around the George municipal area in South Africa through the George Mobility Strategy. This strategy is unique in that it’s the only one of its kind in a non-metro area of South Africa.
Since its inception in 2003, the George Mobility Strategy has been the guiding strategy behind the implementation of public transport projects throughout the area.
Aurecon conceptualised the Strategy for handover to the Western Cape Government in its desire to improve the provision of public transport services for the citizens in its area. Now each year, Aurecon provides advisory and engineering services to the Western Cape Government for ancillary and complimentary work associated with the George Mobility Strategy and it’s continued overarching guidance of projects.
Aurecon is proud of its long association with the Western Cape Government and the George Mobility Strategy.
The longevity of this programme is due to the collaboration between the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and the National Department of Transport and Public Works.
The George Mobility Strategy concept was not only about transforming public transport services, but also addressing the social structure of local communities through the design and provision of ‘dignified urban space’ projects linked to the provision of public transportation infrastructure.
It aimed to recognise the catalytic role a formal public transport system could play through:
The following are a list of public transport projects with their origins in the George Mobility Strategy:
The primary characteristics of the GO GEORGE Project included the definition of a network of main and community routes operating 16 hours per day, that incorporated conventional bus systems, and formalised minibus and taxi services.
Central to the GO GEORGE Project was the issue of Universal Access Design, looking at the ‘complete street’ rather than a focus on just roadways and motor vehicles, and has required the consideration of design approaches not common to South Africa.
It has created the space to investigate infrastructure design aspects, and thus offer discussion on a range of issues which include universal access and sustainable urban development.
Integrated public transport projects have significant implications for the provision of accessible scheduled public transport. GO GEORGE connects communities and may help to boost the local economy and make George more attractive for businesses and investors. The fact that more people can travel across the city gives greater accessibility for everyone.
The George Mobility Strategy was the model for low-cost integrated public transport networks, with limited dedicated infrastructure, open station design, and a ‘just-in-time’ approach to investment in bus stops and shelters. It demonstrates several firsts for South Africa:
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