City pilots innovative MyCiTi bus traffic signalling system

11 May 2022 in Where We Govern

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas, joined the team responsible for transport network technology yesterday, 10 May 2022 as they were switching on one of the newly installed bus signals along Blaauwberg Road, Table View. These signals form part of the pilot project to test a new bus traffic signal system for the MyCiTi bus service.

The City of Cape Town will test a new bus traffic signal system for MyCiTi at four intersections along Blaauwberg Road in Table View from today, 11 May 2022. The new bus traffic signals are aligned with international best practice and are being tested in consultation with the National Department of Transport over the next six months.

If successful, these signals will be implemented across the MyCiTi system and be included in the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual for use by other cities and transport systems in South Africa.

The main motivation behind this pilot project was to introduce a signalling system that could prohibit confusion among motorists at these intersections, which up until now served both private vehicles and MyCiTi buses. The bus signals were often mistaken as signals for vehicular traffic, which resulted in private vehicles reacting erroneously and causing unfortunate collisions.

The new pilot system introduced today does not use red, amber or green, and is therefore less likely to be confused with the normal traffic signal system that uses these colours. The new MyCiTi system’s only colour is white, using new symbols and will ultimately only be installed along MyCiTi routes.

These signals have been installed at the following intersections in Table View:

  • Blaauwberg Road and Table View MyCiTi Station (R27)
  • Blaauwberg Road and Raatz Drive
  • Blaauwberg Road and Grey Avenue
  • Blaauwberg Road and Janssens Avenue

The City asks that road users, motorists and pedestrians please pay attention and adhere to the normal traffic signals. The new bus signals only apply to the MyCiTi bus service.

‘I am always encouraged by projects that showcase innovation and align our practices here in Cape Town with that of international standards. The road safety of all road users is of great priority to the City, so my hope is that this new traffic signal system will cause less confusion and incidents among motorists in the area. It makes me proud that our teams have been involved with this IRT bus signalisation project as it is the first of its kind in South Africa,’ said the Executive Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis

‘I advise road users in Table View to approach these intersections along Blaauwberg Road with caution during the trial period and to remember that the new bus signals apply to MyCiTi buses only. All motorists, pedestrians and other road users must continue to follow the rules of the road and the ordinary traffic signals that apply to them. I believe this pilot project will be a success and that this new traffic signal system will prove to work just as efficiently in Cape Town as it currently does in other European cities,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas

Examples of existing bus and light rail signals from across the world were considered in deciding on the alternative bus signal proposal. The preferred system is a white single aspect light system, used in the United Kingdom and some European countries, in combination with a new directional information sign to clearly identify applicable bus movements where necessary

The bus drivers on the relevant MyCiTi bus routes have received training on the meaning of the respective bus signal displays prior to implementation.