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HomeNewsCape Town launching first-of-its-kind reversible lane – How it works

Cape Town launching first-of-its-kind reversible lane – How it works

The City of Cape Town is launching a new “reversible lane” this June exclusively for its MyCiTi bus service along the R27 between Loxton Road and Broad Road in Milnerton.

This is a busy route for public transport users, however, space constraints in the area made it impossible to construct a second lane, leading to the metro adopting the technology-based solution to its transport problems.

“This would be the first contra-flow/reversible lane, for exclusive public transport use, in South Africa,” said Councillor Rob Quintas, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility.

“More so that it is fully automated and not using a flagman as one passes temporary roadworks construction sites.”

How it works

The new reversible lane system will allow MyCiTi buses to travel along the red lane towards the Cape Town CBD from 00h05 until 12h00 daily.

Thereafter, the lane will be closed between 12h00 and 13h00; and it will reopen again at 13h00 to allow buses to drive in the opposite direction, from the Cape Town CBD to Blaauwberg, until midnight.

Digital notice boards on both sides will reflect “Open” and “Closed”, or both “Closed”, depending on the time of day.

Two thermal cameras with artificial intelligence technology are installed at the entrances of the new lane to detect unauthorised vehicles, reverse entry, and entry-without-exit.

Their feeds are monitored from a central Transport Management Centre (TMC), where trained personnel will manage the system and actively monitor the lane for any safety concerns.

If any problem is detected, both red bus lane signs will revert to “Closed” and an alarm will be raised at the TMC.

“For example, if a bus is counted entering the lane and is not counted leaving the lane within a predefined time of four minutes, it will be accepted that the bus has stopped somewhere in the lane and the alarm will be sent to the TMC,” said Quintas.

“The lane will then be closed in both directions. The CCTV system will be checked and the operator will take the appropriate action.”

Upon the official opening of the reversible lane later this month, MyCiTi passengers making the outbound journey towards Table View in the afternoon will enjoy shorter travel times during peak hours.

Other road users will benefit, too, as fewer buses will now drive in the general lanes which will speed up movement for private vehicles.

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