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Transport for Cape Town (TCT), the City’s transport authority, will undertake a survey at the Station Deck public transport facility in the Cape Town central business district to determine the needs and expectations of those currently making use of the facility. The outcome of this survey will inform TCT’s short-term interventions and the major upgrade intended for this facility in addressing the current shortcomings and needs, as well as the future demand. Read more below:

‘We will be conducting the survey at the Station Deck public transport facility so that we can get a better understanding of the challenges that the minibus-taxi drivers, operators, passengers and vendors face at this facility. The outcome of this survey will assist us to determine the short-term interventions in improving the current conditions. It will also inform the planning of the major upgrade intended for the Station Deck in 2017,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

The survey will commence next week. Although its purpose is to inform the major upgrade of the Station Deck facility, the survey may also reveal further inefficiencies – including access to other modes of transport, such as passenger rail, and pedestrian access to and from the adjacent area.

‘The Station Deck survey will also inform TCT’s vision for an inner-city public transport hub – a combination of facilities – that will enhance public transport services and commuters’ experience of making use of public transport in terms of easy and safe access, among others. Some of the envisioned improvements relate to current facilities such as the Station Deck, as well as improving the connectivity between the different modes of public transport and non-motorised transport such as walking and cycling,’ said Councillor Herron.The current facilities do not serve the needs and demands of the commuters. The facilities at the Golden Acre Terminal and the Station Deck minibus-taxi rank in particular are not designed for the current vehicle volumes and movements. An appropriate system is needed to cater for the adequate circulation of traffic, disembarking and alighting, as well as staging.

‘Furthermore there is a clear lack of a thoroughfare for pedestrians to link both sides of the railway station. The station forms a barrier in the urban grid, hindering pedestrian movements between the foreshore area and the south-east of the central business district,’ said Councillor Herron.

The purpose of the envisioned hub is to address all of these inefficiencies.

‘Starting on Monday 21 November 2016, we intend to conduct 700 interviews with pedestrians, minibus-taxi operators and drivers, passengers, line marshals and informal vendors. We will ask them about their daily experience on the Station Deck, their expectations and needs, the shortcomings, the current challenges and any other issues they may raise. The outcome of the survey will be available early in 2017. It will give us a good idea of what needs to be done to ensure that the Station Deck meets the demands of those who are using the facility and in ensuring that it operates as it should. It will also enable us to further strengthen those things that do work,’ said Councillor Herron.

Some of the required interventions may relate to the infrastructure itself – such as a new design, layout and facilities; or system changes in how the Station Deck operates on a daily basis.

The interviews will be conducted by Freshly Ground Insights (FGI). The FGI team will be wearing nametags with the FGI logo and an ID photo. Each interview is expected to take about 15 minutes.

‘We have met with the minibus-taxi operators about the survey and we have informed them about the purpose and intention of the interviews. I want to request those who are making use of the Station Deck facility to please participate in the survey and to give us their honest opinion. We want to know how we can improve the conditions and efficiency of the Station Deck and we cannot do it without their help,’ said Councillor Herron.

Respondents will be asked to comment on the following, among others:
· the location of the Station Deck facility
· access for minibus-taxi operators, commuters, pedestrians and vendors
· the facilities such as ablution facilities, facilities for traders and operators, and car-washing facilities
· crime and anti-social behaviour
· safety
· shelter against wind, sun, and rain
· the space itself – whether the supply meets the demand in terms of the number of minibus-taxis operating from the Station Deck and the number of commuters making use of the facility

‘The upgrade of the Station Deck facility is at a very early stage – we anticipate that the construction will only commence by September next year, if all goes as planned. However, it may be possible to make some short-term interventions to improve the conditions on the Station Deck while we are working on the redesign of the facility. We will announce these in the new year, soon after we have received the report on the outcome of the survey,’ said Councillor Herron.

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