MyCiTi leads the way for special needs passengers
MyCiTi is leading the way on universal access, which includes access for the disabled, the elderly, children, passengers with large suitcases, surfboards or prams, pregnant women and even women travelling alone.
Guy Davies, the universal access consultant for MyCiTi, has been approached for advice on aspects of the MyCiTi universal access plan by organisations including the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) system, the World Bank and Bus Rapid Transit System planners in other SA cities. All Bus Rapid Transit planners are required to have a universal access advisor.
“MyCiTi caters for everyone,” says Councillor Brett Herron, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater for the City of Cape Town. “We are already seeing the elderly, people in wheelchairs, and many other groups who might otherwise feel vulnerable or excluded, using the new bus service and loving it. We want to encourage all special needs passengers to use MyCiTi and give us their feedback.”
Davies, himself a wheelchair user, said between 10% and 20% of any population is disabled, and one in three households in South Africa is affected by disability. Traditionally, designers, and planners have only considered wheelchair users in making transport services accessible. However, wheelchair users represent only a small proportion of people with disabilities, who themselves only represent a small portion of people with special needs. The goal is to accommodate all special needs passengers on MyCiTi.
Universal access facilities on the MyCiTi service include tactile paving to help the blind locate the stations and platforms; induction loops at ticket kiosks for the hearing impaired; CCTV cameras monitored by a control centre, and even tactile signage and maps, which are now being added to the existing route. There will also be boarding bridges onto all the buses including the new smaller buses, giving passengers level access on all permanent routes.