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Cape Town launches new IRT bus service « Free Tips DOT COZA

Cape Town launches new IRT bus service


Posted on 7th May 2010 by Tony in Free Tip

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So I noticed on the news today that Cape Town has launched it’s Integrated Rapid Transport service, having been called the IRT for a while. Anyone living in Cape Town knows all about the chaos on the roads as extra bus lanes have been added to the major routes in and out of the city.

For all it’s beauty and wonders this city is very poorly laid out. The road system looks like God dropped his bowl of spaghetti and there were it fell we laid roads. Public Transport is non-existent. From Table View (a suburb of over 300000 people) there is no train system into the city and the road that leads to town ends up in a single-lane. This means that Rush Hour in Cape Town is actually Rush-3-Hours. If you don’t leave home by 6am you won’t get to town before 8:30.

So we get this new road system, which they have called it MyCiTi and the first few buses were launched today, hopefully bringing the airport-city route online before the world cup. Nice.

But I have a problem with the name. I don’t think it was researched properly. Simple check: www.myciti.co.za will lead you to the Citi Bank Group website. While Citi Bank is hardly recognised in SA, I do think the City of Cape Town should have done a little bit of online research when choosing the name.

Why not just call it “IRT”? We’re all calling it that already. Argh. Politicians. The slogan is also a little silly. I have no idea what the Xhosa Phrase means, but “Laat Wiel” and “Going Places” – while both have something to do with transport, don’t seem much to do with each other.

Here’s a clip I found on Zoopy I thought you’d like to watch.

Look, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy the IRT is finally coming to Cape Town – we need decent transport. But what does concern me is the lack of thought when choosing a name … which brings me to my freetip for this Friday afternoon:

FreeTip: Do some research online when choosing a name. 🙂

  1. A Ride on the IRT R142 (5) White Plains Road Express from E180th St to 3rd Avenue-149th St [AM Rush] says:

    […] Cape Town launches IRT | Free Tips DOT COZA […]

    7th May 2010 at 6:55 am

  2. Rafa says:

    The bus branding is horrific, and so is the brand, font, text etc. Are we back in the 80’s?

    What a lost opportunity to build a strong brand. Heck, make the entire bus blue!

    7th May 2010 at 11:06 am

  3. Tony says:

    Rafa – I completely agree!

    I was driving on the N1 the other day and I realised that Cape Town just doesn’t have that nice little touch – we’re so afraid to be euro-centric that we give up on the things that work. For example, London has the red buses and the Black Cabs. New York has the yellow cab system.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we did the same thing? For example – imagine if the city negotiated with Toyota or Nissan or VW – and over the next 3-5 years all taxis looked the same and had the same branding – build an icon. They could get heavily discounted cars if bought in thousands.

    (Heck, even city government cars could go the same route – the US does it with theirs!)

    The same with the buses … as you say, even plain blue – something to stick out …

    A missed opportunity for sure!

    7th May 2010 at 11:38 am

  4. Mark says:

    Can i level some constructive crit. I think that was a poorly written article. First u were complain bout the roads, then the traffic in Cape Town, then Table View, then the Buses. Those may be valid points as I also hate the traffic. But by the time u started criticizing the name I didn’t want to read anymore.

    Some people like some foreigners only complain. I once spoke to an american who got robbed in a taxi and wanted money and then still had the gall to try crit everything bout our malls city. I almost told him to get lost.

    Capetonian however live here because we love this city. We know its not perfect but many of us do our part to make it better. Don’t be like a foreigner who can only level criticism bout everything he sees in a third world country. London, New York and Tokyo are not perfect either.

    7th May 2010 at 12:06 pm

  5. Martin Slabbert says:

    Hi Tony, on behalf of the communications team working on the MyCiTi project for the City of Cape Town, thank you for your comments. I invite anyone who has comments or inputs to contact me at irt@capetown.gov.za as we always welcome inputs. I would especially welcome comments on how we can improve the system, such as making changes to the current route.


    7th May 2010 at 1:15 pm

  6. Heather says:

    Please let me know what the actual website url is. What’s the point of criticising the url when you don’t even say what it is?

    I’m delighted to have a bus service in Cape Town and of course there will be a couple of snafus at first, but jeez, some people are never satisfied.

    7th May 2010 at 10:28 am

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