Chapter 5 social equity and guidelines for mobility
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Chapter 5 social equity and guidelines for mobility





5 1 introduction
5.1 Introduction

  • Cities exist in order to allow people to live close to each other so that they can specialise in their occupations and enjoy the benefits of community living.

  • This implies the movement of citizens within the urban areas to:

    • take advantage of employment opportunities and

    • Have access to education, recreation, sports and social contact, health services, shopping and so on.

5 1 introduction cont
5.1 Introduction cont’

  • The government has undertaken to:

    • address the poverty and low quality of life experienced by many South Africans, and to

    • tackle the distortions in the distribution of resources in the economy.

      Constitution recognises the right of all citizens to adequate housing, health care, education, freedom of movement and pursuit of a livelihood – can only be accomplished with adequate transport!!

5 1 introduction cont1
5.1 Introduction cont’

  • 70% of the South African population does not have access to private cars [South African Commuters Organisation ]

    • Minimum standards for public transport will be required so that all citizens can enjoy reasonably adequate levels of transport.

5 2 mobility levels
5.2 Mobility Levels

  • mobility is ‘the ability to move or be moved’

  • accessibility is ‘the ability to be reached’

5 2 mobility levels cont
5.2 Mobility Levels cont’

  • Many benchmarks exist

  • Except how public transport compares with private transport in terms of accessibility or convenience.

  • To address this the study guide suggests that an important new benchmark for public transport should be that most journeys by public transport should not take more than three times longer than the same journey by private car.

5 2 1 private car
5.2.1 Private car

  • Most comfortable and convenient method of travel

  • For family outings – more relaxed - parents are free from the necessity of ensuring the conventional behaviour of their children

  • Extra passengers do not have to pay an extra fare.

  • Any point on the road network can be considered as the destination for a particular trip, provided there is room to park.

  • Flexibility results in wide choice of home and work locations

5 2 2 public transport
5.2.2 Public transport

  • Operates only during certain hours or on certain days

  • User must find out whether a service is available for both outward and return journeys

  • Trips are restricted by the routes on which public transport is available and by the time available for the trips

5 2 2 public transport cont
5.2.2 Public transport cont’

  • less flexibility as journey times have to be planned to meet bus or train schedules;

  • services outside rush hours are infrequent,

  • all-night or late- night services absent in most areas, and

  • normal services reduced during holiday periods

5 2 2 public transport cont1
5.2.2 Public transport cont’

  • unreliability of public transport services

  • individuals usually have to pay separate fares,

  • family (or group) travel is also discouraged.

  • uncertain lengths of time standing at stops

  • Possibility of being crowded, uncomfortable and no vacant seats

  • risk of violence at stops

5 2 2 public transport cont2
5.2.2 Public transport cont’


  • not being involved in the strain of driving

  • does not have to find a parking space.

  • Journeys made by train are free from the frustration of congested roads affecting bus and car alike,

  • except in rush hours, a train can be used in comparative comfort, and with a fairly precise knowledge of the time it will take to reach the destination.

5 3 guidelines for mobility
5.3 Guidelines for mobility

  • Guideline 1 - time taken to travel a particular distance by car

  • Once this has been determined, the time taken to cover the same distance by public transport should be calculated and the relationship between the two times should be established

    • Not more than 3 times longer

    • need for minimum levels of public transport

5 4 parameters for mobility
5.4 Parameters for Mobility

  • Once a policy decision has been taken to provide minimum levels of mobility for the population, a number of parameters must be adopted in order to achieve them.

  • Three basic parameters can be identified, under the following headings

    • Proximity to a transport route

    • Availability of service

    • Area coverage

5 4 parameters for mobility cont
5.4 Parameters for Mobility cont’

Please note:

  • The mere granting of operating licences will not necessarily ensure the minimum levels of service discussed below).

  • Only a contract and/or a concession with providers of public transport will guarantee that they are provided.

5 4 1 proximity to a transport route
5.4.1 Proximity to a transport route

  • Def: This measure of performance relates to how near the population lives to a public transport route

  • walking times of more than 15 minutes (roughly equivalent to 1 000 metres) are regarded as unacceptable.

    • Possible yardstick for a transport network could be that, say, 80% - 90% of the community should live within 15 minutes (1 000 metres) of a public transport route

5 4 2 availability of service
5.4.2 Availability of service

  • Availability consists of two elements:

    • (a) frequency of service, and

    • (b) spread of service.

      (a) Frequency

  • Def: This measure of performance relates to the number of services provided on a route within a given period

5 4 2 availability of service cont
5.4.2 Availability of service cont’

  • Waiting times should be as short as possible

    • In peak - a minimum frequency of 6 services per hour - equal to every ten minutes - would be acceptable

    • Off peak - should never, even for low volume routes, be less than hourly (once per hour) [a study suggest]

B spread
(b) Spread

  • Def: This parameter relates to the number of hours over which the services operate.

  • some routes the term may mean a spread starting at 04:00 in the morning and continuing until midnight (indeed in some situations a full 24- hour service may be justified).

  • Over weekends the spread may be narrower - say from 06:00 until 18:00 only.

5 4 3 area coverage
5.4.3 Area coverage

  • Def: This term relates to the ability of the passenger to reach any destination served by public transport in the area, within a certain period of time.

  • Although proximity and availability may be adequate, the routes may be such that users are forced to travel in a roundabout way to reach their destinations – see FIGURE of Area Coverage

Area coverage figure
Area Coverage Figure

Diagram 1:

  • everyone may live within 1 000 metres of a route

  • Frequencies and spread may also be good

  • However, anyone wishing to travel from A to B must travel via the centre of town, which could take as much as six times longer than the direct route by car.

  • It would probably be quicker to walk from A to B than to go by public transport

    Diagram 2

  • the introduction of a new route (indicated by the dotted line) linking a number of suburban generators of traffic, would substantially improve accessibility in the area.

5 4 3 area coverage cont
5.4.3 Area coverage cont’

  • The effect of the above requirement implies

    • the introduction of more direct routes between different parts of the city and region and

    • the operation of a minimum level of service on such routes at all reasonable times.

5 5 summary
5.5 Summary

  • This study guide expresses the view that unless an over-arching yardstick such as the “three times longer” rule is adopted, public transport policy will remain unfocused and the objectives of the White Paper (Chapter 4) will be undermined.

5 6 conclusion
5.6 Conclusion

  • In order to ensure that all residents of urban and rural areas enjoy adequate levels of mobility and accessibility, it will be necessary to adopt parameters which will ensure a minimum guaranteed level of public transport.

5 6 conclusion cont
5.6 Conclusion cont’

  • In all likelihood these minimum levels will be provided by means of contracts and / or concessions (and not necessarily by operating licences alone).