Behavioural Change and Emerging Tech to Ease Traffic Congestion

Traffic gridlock has become a common feature in Cape Town, and as the city continues to grow, so does the issue of traffic congestion. As part of our Transport Programme, Accelerate Cape Town has collaborated with Wesgro to highlight government plans and have frank discussions with the various transport providers about the potential solutions available. Our events this year have included Improving Commuter Productivity in the Cape and Addressing Transport Issues to Enhance Business Productivity.

As this infographic from the City of Cape Town indicates, 48% of transport usage is still in private cars and is often single usage. While the City recognises that reliable and safe travel alternatives are required to give people in private cars realistic choices – of which passenger rail is the most obvious – it was agreed at our last event that behavioural change is fundamental to easing traffic problems as, in the case of the CBD particularly, we have fewer options to build ourselves out of the problem.

Accelerate Cape Town has been engaging with Transport for Cape Town and PRASA/Metrorail, as well as emerging tech companies, to identify what, as a corporate collective, can be done to ease the extent of the problem. Here are some potential solutions to consider:

  • uGoMyWay – as 79% of vehicles on our roads only have one person in them, uGoMyWay aims to ease congestion in the city by connecting drivers and passengers to share their everyday journeys. Using your Smartphone, uGoMyWay allows users to create routine journeys like home-to-work or home-to-school. Matches are then ranked and a chat function allows users to establish a dialogue before personal details are shared. Once this has taken place, you decide who is driving and what the shared costs are. As an additional safety measure, users can also request to be a part of a ring-fenced community which includes only members from your workplace.
  • GoMetro – this is a flexible mobility platform, connecting all disparate transport modes into one collective space. Using in-vehicle technology, GoMetro is easing congestion by amplifying ride-sharing, which can reduce private car usage on our roads by 30 – 50%. Ride-matching helps a driver or passenger looking to carpool, find each other. This tool allows participants to “raise their hand” indicating that they are interested in a particular trip as either a driver or passenger. Additionally, ride-sharing has been extended to walking and cycling routes as a means of promoting safe, alternative transport. According to GoMetro’s Justin Coetzee, the brand will be launching fixed route shuttles, similar to minibus taxis, which will transport people to and from their workplaces connecting the driver and passengers through the GoMetro app.
  • Metrorail Business Express Solutions – as a luxury commuter service, the Business Express solution operates between Paarl and Cape Town as well as Strand and Cape Town. This service has individual seating arrangements and a host of on-board facilities enabling commuters to travel and work simultaneously – monthly ticket prices range from R835 – R1290. With regards to Metrorail offering park-and-ride facilities for its commuters, Eddie Chinnappen, GM and HOD for Customer Service Western Cape PRASA, says that they are willing to collaborate with organisations considering park-and-rides to the CBD.
  • By working with some of our members, Accelerate Cape Town has approached MyCiti regarding potentially piloting a route from the Northern Suburbs Willowbridge Mall to the CBD.

In a continuation of our focus on transport and as part of our Transport Programme, we will be partnering with the Consulate General of the Netherlands on their Mobility Indaba conference which takes place from 06 – 10 October 2016.

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