City launches Travel SMART programme and encourages sustainable transport options
The primary focus of the programme is convincing commuters to leave their cars – often single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) – at home, particularly when travelling to and from work.
This comes in light of the fact that transport accounts, alarmingly, for half of Cape Town’s total energy consumption, and more than a quarter of all carbon emissions.
Currently in its pilot phase, the programme (funded by the United Nations Development Programme) has partnered with six other large employers, including the Western Cape Government (WCG), in the Cape Town CBD.
Their goal is to create awareness and to shift their staff to use more sustainable options, including the use of public transport, lift clubbing (carpooling) or active mobility (non-motorised options such as walking or cycling).
“The increased congestion on our roads, particularly as a result of SOV use, is not sustainable. SOVs are energy inefficient and contribute significantly to emissions, which impact on local air quality, our health and global climate change, not to mention to the huge hole they leave in the pockets of commuters due to the high price of fuel and parking,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater Councillor Brett Herron.
The Travel SMART Programme aims to reduce SOV use, reduce the total kilometres travelled, reduce vehicle emissions, reduce costs for commuters and reduce the day-to-day stress of sitting in traffic.
The programme has been recently selected as one of the flagship projects for the PGWC’s “110% Green” Campaign, recently launched on World Environment Day. Through this campaign, the City has committed to work with the PGWC and its other partners to facilitate a shift towards more sustainable travel behaviour.
“Although the pilot programme is initially aimed primarily at staff within the seven participating partners, all participants have agreed that the programme should be made available to all citizens as soon as possible. We are therefore pleased to announce that information on the programme is available via the City’s website,” concluded Cllr Herron. “We encourage, indeed, challenge all Capetonians to consider more sustainable transport options, and to make the shift from private, single occupancy car travel to an option that makes sense for them.”
“We are very pleased that a number of employers have come on board for this pilot project and are working with the City to shift travel habits to ensure our City’s sustainability and liveability," said Cllr Herron.
For more information, please visit the Travel SMART webpage at www.capetown.gov.za/travelsmart