Plans are in place for the city of Cape Town which will see about 60 000 weekly MyCiTi bus commuters in Cape Town travel in vehicles that run solely on electricity or biofuel, helping ease the pressure of gas emissions placed on the environment.
The plans to introduce these less-gas emitting buses was announced by the City of Cape Town during the African Union of Public Transport (UATP) Workshop on Best Practice in Africa, held in cape Town recently.
According to the city’s mayoral committee member, Councillor Brett Herron,“While the MyCiTi bus service has significantly improved the quality of life of our residents through access to affordable, decent and safe public transport, we now also have the responsibility to lower our carbon emissions and the impact of pollution on the urban environment. As such, Transport for Cape Town, the City’s transport authority, will issue a tender for the procurement of electric buses within the next few months,”
“In addition, we are undertaking a research project into biofuels to determine how we can make use of alternative fuel to improve our efficiency and to run a cleaner MyCiTi service,” Herron further explained.
The City of Joburg was first to launch a “green” solution to public transport with a new fleet of environmentally-friendly Metrobuses unveiled in July, but the city of Cape Town is the first to use electricity.
According to the latest research, presented at the transport workshop, buses running on electricity or biogas can cover more distance than normal buses with diesel engines for the same amount of energy. MyCiTi buses collectively cover an average distance of over 1.27 million kilometres each month, the city said.
Experts at the event also highlighted the fact that 97% of public transport across the world operates on diesel, contributing to pollution and climate change and that worldwide there are 3.1 million deaths from particle emissions.
“An added benefit of electric buses is the fact that they operate almost silently, which will also help to cut back on noise pollution,” said Herron.