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Limpopo Business 2020/21 edition

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  • Tourism
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  • Polokwane
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  • Limpopo

FOCUS Exciting public

FOCUS Exciting public transport system to be launched in 2020 Phased approach to be adopted for maximum safety. The National Department of Transport visited the City of Polokwane to monitor the progress of the system. Leeto la Polokwane’s initial Phase 1A is expected to go operational in 2020. Before the actual operations, the system will undergo trial operations to test the effectiveness of the system while at the same time training the drivers to efficiently run the buses. The system trial period will be guided by the Covid-19 regulations as tabled by the government. Precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 Bus Transport Operators Guidelines. Phase 1A consists of two trunk extension routes and two complementary routes which will serve the Seshego, Flora Park and Westenburg areas. The complete system will be characterised by the dedicated bus lanes, smartcard payment systems, bus stops, a control centre, one median station, a layover facility, trunk extension routes and complementary routes. Construction of dedicated bus lanes along Nelson Mandela Drive from Zebediela Street to Seshego Circle has been completed. The dedicated lanes will fast-track the arrival times for passengers by separating the Leeto buses from the normal traffic. A median station and a bus depot are under construction. The station will be situated in the Central Business District (CBD) along General Joubert Street between Thabo Mbeki and Grobler Street. The bus depot which is situated in Zone 8 on New Era Drive Street in Seshego will house 36 Leeto la Polokwane buses for Phase 1A operations. Both the Bus Depot and the Bus Station will not be ready for Go-Live 2020. In the meantime, operations will be on the kerbside (the side of a road or pavement that is nearer to the stop) and the buses will be operated from the layover facility. The buses will not be LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21 14

FOCUS picking up passengers during the trial period; the aim of this period is to ensure drivers are being trained appropriately. The following elements will be functional during Phase 1A Implementation: • Trunk Extension TE4 which runs through Zone 1 and back into Nelson Mandela Street. • Trunk Extension TE5b which runs from Nelson Mandela Street onto Ditlou Street, Seshego B section and back into Nelson Mandela Street. • Complementary F1 which runs on Grobler, Webster, Marshall and Thabo Mbeki Streets. • Complementary F4b which runs on Grobler and Nikkel Streets and circulates through Nirvana and back into the CBD via Thabo Mbeki Street. • The Control Centre, New Peter Mokaba Stadium. • The layover facility located near Itsoseng Centre, on the corner of Fluorspar and Silicon Streets. Universal accessibility Leeto la Polokwane was built in line with Universal Access principles, to provide easy access to all people with a variety of needs, giving equal opportunity to have access to a safe, reliable and quality transport service. Features include the use of deployable boarding bridges to allow passengers in wheelchairs and mothers with baby strollers to enter and exit the buses safely. The other features are raised tactile (textured) paving, beeping alarms, and voice announcements that guide people who have reduced vision and who cannot read. Another important aspect is infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. About 18km of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) facilities have been built which includes the walkways that are dedicated to human-powered means of getting around such as bicycles, skateboards, wheelchairs and handcarts. Cashless ticketing system For commuters to get in the Leeto la Polokwane buses, they will need to buy a Leeto Travel Card that will be loaded with cash, allowing commuters to plan and budget for trips. There will be no cash handling between the drivers and the passengers. The card will be available at local outlets, vendors and spaza shops. Commuters will not be charged for the first issue of the travel card. However, should the card be lost or damaged, a replacement fee will be charged. Commuters will register their cards with their ID numbers so that it can be blocked if it is lost, stolen or damaged. The card has no expiry date and can be used multiple times. Control centre The control centre, where all the operations for Leeto la Polokwane will be monitored and coordinated, is based at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium. It is connected to the buses and the station through the Intelligent Transport System (ITS), which updates passengers with information through audios and visual displays. All the buses and stations will be monitored through CCTV cameras. Urban traffic control (UTC) As part of the preparations to launch the Phase 1A of the project, Leeto la Polokwane will install and test new traffic signals. Known as the Urban Traffic Control (UTC) system, it is a specialised form of traffic management that coordinates traffic light signals in a centralised location. The following intersections along Nelson Mandela Drive received new traffic signals in November 2019: • Madiba Park Street intersection. • Maropeng intersection. • Zebediela Street intersection. 15 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2020/21

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