World class stations for commuters on GO!Durban route

World class stations for commuters on GO!Durban route

The prototype station for GO!Durban at the intersection of Regent Street and Qashana Khuzwayo Road in New Germany has been completed.

The first GO!Durban prototype station structure at the intersection of Regent Street and Qashana Khuzwayo Road in New Germany, has been completed, universal access and fare gates tested, and the finishing touches are being done to the interior.

This is one of a number of stations currently being constructed on the first route of the new transport network from Pinetown to KwaMashu. According to Thami Manyathi, head of the eThekwini Transport Authority, these new stations are no ordinary “bus stops” but are a first step towards a new technological approach in public transport addressing the needs of a developing city.

By 2030, the new transport network will have eight dedicated bus lane routes and one rail route, which will link the eThekwini Municipality from north to south and east to west. The first route, which is nearing completion, runs from the Pinetown CBD through New Germany, Clermont, KwaDabeka, Newlands and Inanda ending at Bridge City in KwaMashu.

Stations will have a fully integrated CCTV system and electronically controlled ticketing system that will ensure commuters can travel safely, cost effectively and reliably. The current MUVO Smartcard technology being used on some public transport buses around Durban will be integrated into this new system. In addition, an advanced public management transport system will provide passengers with information on bus arrival times. Information will be available on electronic displays at stations, on board buses and also through mobile applications.

Each station will provide level boarding in compliance with universal accessibility (UA), meaning that people in wheelchairs, pushing prams and carrying suitcases can access the station and bus with ease. The stations and buses will also be compliant with UA standards, with visual and auditory prompts for people with hearing or sight challenges.

“The city is also currently testing out wi-fi on selected people mover buses ahead of the new GO!Durban system going operational next year in order to see patterns of usage and uptake. Results of this test will determine the roll-out and availability of wi-fi in the new system,” says Manyathi.

It is planned that seven stations will begin functioning once the GO!Durban system begins in mid-2018.