CITY PROPOSES FLEXI-TIME AND CARPOOLING TO ALLEVIATE TRAFFIC CONGESTION

The City is spending R750 million on road infrastructure projects over the next five years to address the three main congestion hotspots in the city, namely Kommetjie, Kuils River and Blaauwberg. A total of R40 million was spent in the past financial year (2015/16) to kick-start the Congestion Management Programme and another R118 million is earmarked for the current financial year (2016/17).

The draft Travel Demand Management Strategy (TDMS), which is available for public comment until 28 October 2016, makes proposals about how the City will take the lead in changing the travel patterns of officials.

The City’s draft TDMS makes proposals on how the movement of people across the city can be better managed for the efficient use of the current road capacity, as well as promoting more sustainable choices – be it making use of public transport services, carpooling, or working at different times.

‘Car ownership among Capetonians is higher than ever before. Due to the demand and population growth, many residents spend about three hours on the city’s arterial routes during the peak-hour traffic periods on week days. Also, historic and inflexible working hours require most employees to start and finish working between 08:00 and 17:00. This contributes to the traffic congestion and is exacerbated by the general trend that employees travel in the same direction towards the centres of employment,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

As such, the TDMS proposes that the City leads by example through flexi-time or remote working arrangements for officials where it is workable.

‘Flexi-time, for example, can allow officials to begin and end working at non-standard times within limits set by management; others may be allowed to work from home during the peak and can then travel to their workplace during the off-peak. Or, some officials could be allowed to work from a satellite office for a specified number of days or hours a week. The City cannot do this alone. The TDMS will only succeed with the buy-in from all of us living in the city – from the City itself, to our residents and business community,’ said Councillor Herron.

Once the final TDMS is adopted by Council, the City will seek to implement these measures within the next three to five years.

Residents should also consider changing their travel behaviour to help reduce the demand for additional road space and lowering our carbon emissions by relying less on private vehicles, using public transport services and making use of carpooling where two or more passengers travel in the same direction.

The draft TDMS is available on the City’s website at www.capetown.govza/haveyoursay, at libraries across the city, and at subcouncil offices.

Flexible working programmes have been implemented successfully in other countries. If managed correctly, this can increase job satisfaction and productivity, and it definitely helps to reduce the stress of sitting idly in peak-hour traffic and can lower our carbon emissions. We all have to work together in alleviating traffic congestion and in building a more sustainable and functioning city where we all can fulfil our potential,’ said Councillor Herron.

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